Saying goodbye to the streets, and prison (Post & Courier)

Marty Hamilton has spent 30 years behind bars, and he’s only 47.

The North Charleston native has been in prison seven times, and twice spent a year in the county jail. During the brief periods in between, he was a stone-cold criminal.

Hamilton terrorized the streets of North Charleston during its most violent years, selling dope and robbing other drug dealers. He survived gun fights, home invasions and drive-by shootings. He’s been stabbed once, shot twice.

“At 15, I started toting guns and shooting people,” Hamilton says. “I became an all-out outlaw. I didn’t think anything about it because I thought I was invincible and unstoppable.”

But now he has stopped.

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Amy Barch is on a mission to stop crime, one criminal at a time (Post & Courier)

More than a quarter of the crime committed in Charleston County last year was the work of just 1,900 men.

And 12 of them are sitting in Amy Barch’s classroom this morning.

Many of them are drug dealers, but some dabble in carjacking, home invasion and armed robbery. A few have shot people, a couple are gangbangers. The only thing they have in common is that they’re all violent, repeat offenders with long rap sheets and dim prospects.

And they are all looking to Barch for a way out.

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