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New S.C. Department of Corrections Office coming to Walterboro

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A new office for the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) Division of Young Offender Parole and Re-entry Service’s Intensive Supervision Division will be housed locally at the Bernard Warshaw Complex at 219 South Lemacks Street in Walterboro. The office will be responsible for youthful offenders in the Low Country Region, which includes Colleton, Allendale, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Dorchester, Hampton, Jasper, and Orangeburg counties.

“We think that it is very important to keep our communities safe by making sure that young offenders are ready to re-enter society,” said SCDC’s Low Country Coordinator James Meek. “We combine the process of trying to make them succeed with close monitoring.”

Correctional facility populations within our state have more than tripled in the last 30 years, and 95 percent of these inmates eventually return back to their home towns. In acknowledgement of this rising correctional population, along with the increasing costs of keeping inmates incarcerated and a high rate of parole revocations, the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) is initiating a new service geared towards young offenders, which id called Intensive Supervision (IS). IS assistance is designed to encourage community safety and ensure a successful re-entry of young offenders back into their communities.

IS will be based on the nationally recognized Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) model which uses evidence-based practices which have been proven to assist in the reduction of recidivism, an improved family and individual functioning, and the assurance of community safety.

The IAP model of IS has already proved measurable success in our state’s juvenile justice system by lowering the re-offending rate of high-risk juvenile offenders by more than 37 percent.

 Intensive Supervision Basics will be used in the implementation of this program. An Intensive Supervision Officer (ISO) will work within the communities to which they are assigned and will supervise each young offender released from the SCDC. Contrary to traditional parole officers, ISOs will play a proactive role in the lives of every young person under their supervision. Youthful Offenders with a greater level of potential risk and-or needs will be assigned to an ISO with a caseload of no more than 20 people.

The ISO’s job will be to:

•Work with SCDC institutions to appraise each youth’s risk and formulate every youth’s risk and develop and plan for services upon their release.

 •Target and utilize community resources and services to reduce the likelihood of re-offending upon the youths’ return home.

•Maintain frequent contact with every youth at home, work, and school to assure a productive and structured daily schedule.

•The use of progressive supervisory practices to hold youths liable and keep them within the community.

•Provide an effective mix of intensive surveillance and treatment services.

•Ensure that youths make reparations to their victims and communities , which includes the payment of restitutions and performing community service.

•Assure that youths lead crime and substance abuse free lives and resist gang affiliation.

Through the evidence-based practice of IS, it is the goal of the SCDC to encourage public safety, reduce victimization, and help young offenders to successfully adjust to life after arriving back in their communities.  According to the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI), research shows that the targeting of interventions is the core of evidence-based supervision.

IS will employ the five following Target Intervetions recommended by the CJI:

•Prioritize supervision and treatment resources for higher risk offenders.

•Target interventions to criminogenic needs.

•Be responsive to temperament, learning lifestyle, motivation, culture, and gender when assigning programs.

•Structure 40-70 percent of high-risk offenders’ time.

•Integrate treatment into the full sentence or sanction requirements.

For additional information regarding the SCDC’s Intensive Supervision Services, contact Ginny Barr, Division Director, Division of Young Offender Parole and Re-entry Services at (803) 896-1777 or barr.ginny@doc.state.sc.us.