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Let's Increase Public Safety & Appropriately Serve Justice-Involved Youth in S.C.

This petition had 49 supporters


The Legislative Audit Council made some deeply troubling findings about the SC Department of Juvenile Justice in January 2017 including:

  • The uninvestigated and unreported deaths of two youth in DJJ’s care;
  • The lack of training for juvenile correctional officers; 
  • The non-compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA);
  • The incomplete and inaccurate data tracking on the progress of youth in the   system;
  • The lack of accountability and quality assurance of juvenile services at the county-level and in the wilderness camps.

We believe that a transparent, evidence-informed, developmentally appropriate, and community-based juvenile justice system is the best system to serve high-need youth under 18.  In order to develop this system in South Carolina, we, the community, DJJ, law enforcement, advocates, legislators, and other government officials, must work collaboratively to transform the juvenile justice system in order to increase public safety and appropriately serve our youth. 

Here are immediate steps we can take together:

  • Utilize the expertise of organizations like the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., and Community Connections for Youth for technical assistance and help developing a continuum of community-based alternative to incarceration. 
  • Develop a task force focused on juvenile justice reform that includes directly impacted youth and families, advocates, service providers, legislators, and system stakeholders. Make the task force meetings open to the public with opportunities for public comment. 
  • Require a task force report with clear recommendations for DJJ to right-size its system, expand community-based alternatives, and implement “raise the age” without greatly increasing the use of incarceration.

 

 



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