South Carolina Department of Public Safety

A South Carolina State Transport Police vehicle is parked on the side of a Palmetto State interstate. 

(The Center Square) — The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a measure that lawmakers say will stop the "revolving door" of defendants charged with violent offenses while out on bond.

H.3532 increases sentence and bond requirements for anyone convicted of a violent crime while out on bond for a similar charge.

Lawmakers voted 92-20 in favor of the measure, which also mandates that defendants post a cash bond if they are charged with a violent crime while awaiting trial for a previous offense. It also mandates a five-year sentence for anyone convicted of a violent crime while free on bond.

"South Carolina will not tolerate or enable a revolving door of repeat offenders," House Majority Leader Davey Hiott, R-Pickens, said in an announcement. "House leaders, solicitors, [the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division] and our county sheriffs came together, communicated and collaborated, and strong bond reform legislation was the result."

Under the measure, magistrates and summary court judges must deny bail for anyone charged with a violent offense. Additionally, a bond will be immediately revoked for defendants charged with committing a violent offense while out on bond.

According to a fiscal estimate, the measure could increase costs for housing prisoners and inmates if signed into law. However, according to a fiscal estimate from the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, it is unclear how much the legislation might increase costs.

"Improving public safety is a priority of our citizens, our law enforcement, and our judicial system," House Speaker Murrell Smith Jr., R-Sumter, said in an announcement. "In just a few short months, the House has passed multiple public safety bills and kept good on promises made that we would also prioritize this issue."