Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    Mostly state operated

  • Detention

    Mostly state operated

  • Probation

    State operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

South Carolina's delinquency services are organized centrally by the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), a state independent juvenile corrections agency. With the exception of 2 locally operated juvenile detention centers, secure detention is operated by DJJ.  

Community supervision, commitments to state public facilities, and juvenile reentry services for youth leaving state facilities are also operated in their entirety by DJJ.

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and juvenile reentry services for youth leaving those facilities.

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and court diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor.

No statutory time limit/s for court diversions exist.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in South Carolina's juvenile correctional facilities. Confinement in response to a major rule violation cannot exceed 4 hours unless it is determined that releasing the juvenile poses a threat to safety and/or security of the facility; any extensions require approval from Captain of Security or higher level manager. In practice, isolation is used solely to “neutraliz[e] out of control behavior”.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions for youth receiving indeterminate commitments to South Carolina's Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) are the responsibility of the independent State Board of Juvenile Parole or DJJ's release authority depending on the juveniles offense. Under a determinate sentence, a youth is released by DJJ at the expiration of the time period ordered by the Court, minus any credit received for time-served and/or good behavior. Release decisions are based upon the youths offense and prior history along with an evaluation of the youth's behavior and progress in education and treatment. Committing courts are not required to be notified of a youths release and release decisions are not currently informed by a risk assessment tool.

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In South Carolina, the Department of Juvenile Justice's (DJJ) Community Services Division administers probation supervision. The use of a risk/needs assessment is required by DJJ policy. South Carolina uses the Child Assessment and Evaluation for assessing needs along with a DJJ developed risk assessment statewide. The information from these assessments is used to guide diversion from formal process decisions and informal adjustment planning, develop/inform pre-disposition investigation reports and/or planning, develop probation disposition recommendations to the juvenile court, assign probation supervision level, and develop probation case plans.

Sex offender registration, 2015


Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Child Assessment and Evaluation & Risk Assessment

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Other: Diversion and may be ordered at any point after arraignment by a judge

Mental health screening tool used
Global Appraisal of Individual Needs-Short Screener (GAINS-SS)

South Carolina requires the use of research based mental health screening tools at secure detention, corrections, and intake to DJJ through internal policies and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). The Joint Council on Children and Adolescents serves as a resource center for activities around mental health screening statewide and recommends the use of the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs-Short Screener (GAINS-SS). A training video for the GAINS-SS can be accessed through the Joint Council on Children and Adolescents website. A grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) funds automation support for the GAINS-SS as well as training and technical assistance.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Study populations

The group(s) of youth being studied in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Re-offense events

Events that are used to measure recidivism in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Follow-up periods

Details regarding the length of time and frequency that youth are tracked in states that publicly report recidivism data.

12 months


Additional levels of analysis provided in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • County

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race/ethn.

  • Risk level

  • Initial offense

  • Re-offense

  • Prior history

The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice reports recidivism rates for juvenile offenders on probation/parole or in arbitration programs. Recidivism is defined as the rate at which juveniles are charged with a new offense.

Data sources

Juvenile Justice Report Card
South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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