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Thomas Sample Speaks to Lions

lionlogo_2cThe Edgefield Lion’s Club had its monthly meeting on Monday, August 12, 2013, at the Aiken Electric Cooperative Building.

Lion President Arlene Traxler welcomed the guest speaker, Thomas Sample, Intensive Supervision Officer (ISO) with the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) and Lion members.

The passing of longtime Lion member Mr. Henry Duncan Wofford was remembered for his commitment to fellow Lions for over seventy years.   Many members were present for his final dedication and burial.

Mr. Sample attended Presbyterian College and graduated from Lander University in 1977.  He spent his career with the South Carolina Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and retired in 2010.  He is now employed with the South Carolina Department of Corrections and resides in Saluda County.

Mr. Sample is an Intensive Supervision Officer, a new service designed to promote community safety and ensure the successful reentry of young offenders back into the community. Unlike the traditional parole officer, ISO’s play a proactive role in the life of each young offender under their supervision.  Young offenders with a higher level of potential risk and/or needs will be assigned to an ISO with a caseload of no more than 20 individuals.  The age of most youthful offenders is 17-24 years of age with approximately 63% incarcerated for drug use.

The budget for South Carolina’s Department of Corrections is $400 million for their 6,000 employees and 27 prisons.  It costs $17,000 per year to house an offender.  Mr.  Sample shared that the absence of the father, uninvolved mother and lack of education were major components that lead to youthful offenders.

Gangs in Edgefield County were prevalent and they “learn” the prison system.  Contraband is a big issue in the prison system and tattoos were vastly used and symbolic on the inmates.

After the presentation, many questions followed by the Lion members.

Edgefield Lions voted and welcomed two new members.

Upcoming community events were discussed, the portable and mobile health screening units and the agenda for September and October.  In October the new District Governor, Catherine Young will be the guest speaker.

Lion Dr. Carroll Wates gave the financial report with no new outstanding eyeglass applications.

The meeting was adjourned with the next scheduled meeting on Monday, September 9, 2013, at 6:00 pm in the Edgefield United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 309 Norris Street.   The public is cordially invited to attend and share in the meetings.

Lion Club brooms are available from Lion members throughout the year.

Submitted by Arlene Traxler