CHILDREN'S LAW CENTER

Status Offense Project

South Carolina Statistics

The Children’s Law Center analyzed 12 months of data, from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, on children in South Carolina who were locked-up in secure confinement for a status offense. “Secure confinement” includes pre-adjudicatory detention and post-adjudicatory commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). None of the children included in this analysis had a prior adjudication for a criminal offense.

The findings of the data analysis were as follows:

  • There were 207 secure confinements of youth solely for truancy, incorrigibility, running away, a technical violation of a related court order, or some combination thereof, during the 12-month period. 
  • 65% of those securely confined for a status offense were females.
  • 33% of those securely confined for a status offense were African American females.
  • Truancy was the most common status offense associated with secure confinement. 
  • 27 of the state’s 46 counties placed at least one status offender in secure confinement, with 9 of those 27 counties placing at least four in secure confinement.
  • 62% of all secure confinements came from four counties - Richland, Charleston, Lexington, and Berkeley.
  • 67% of the youth securely confined for a status offense in pre-adjudicatory detention were charged with runaway.  Half of these runaway youth were released directly home.
  • 48% of the youth securely confined for a status offense through a commitment to DJJ received a determinate sentence of 12 days or less.

 

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