At Our Secure Facilities
The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice is doing all it can to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in our secured facilities, county offices, and alternative placement sites. In accordance with Governor Henry McMaster's emergency declaration and the leadership of DJJ Executive Director Freddie B. Pough, we are implementing all possible social distancing in our workplaces, to include telework, and the cancellation of all non-essential meetings, appointments, and other events.
Within our secured facilities, we are implementing preventive measures that meet or exceed all current recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), and include:
- temperature screenings and symptom checks of all juveniles upon arrival to one of our facilities. Youth are then monitored routinely for development of symptoms. If youth have an elevated screening temperature, they will immediately be referred to that facility's medical infirmary for further evaluation.
- temperature screenings of all employees and other individuals entering DJJ secure facilities. If employees are screened with an elevated temperature, they will be asked to go home and contact their medical provider for further guidance.
- routine COVID-19 testing of all employees working in DJJ secure facilities.
- regularly sanitizing all “high touch” surfaces in work areas with a disinfectant solution that is approved to kill viruses. This can be a commercial cleaner (such as Lysol), or a 1:10 bleach solution.
- practicing social distancing among youth and staff, avoiding large gatherings, and staff conducting work and meetings remotely when possible.
- conducting an hourly handwashing routine for staff and youth.
- youth receiving virtual or pre-recorded educational instruction and faith-based services.
- DJJ Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) intake staff reserve the right to refuse admission of any juvenile that is severely ill, and require law enforcement staff to take the juvenile to a local hospital to be assessed and medically cleared before admission to the facility.
For more information on our secure facilities and alternative placement sites, visit our Facilities page.
At Our County Offices
We understand face-to face interaction is an important and fundamental part of serving and rehabilitating youth offenders. Our Community staff has been advised to limit physical contact when possible and instead conduct meetings with youth and their families via phone or video conferencing. All Community staff have also been instructed to regularly sanitize their work areas with a disinfectant solution that is approved to kill viruses. In addition, "Project: Right Turn" has been suspended until further notice and our annual volunteer banquet scheduled for April is postponed. For a full list of county offices and their contact information, see our County Directory.
SCDJJ has suspended visitation at all secure facilities and alternative placement sites. Because we know the importance of our young people spending time with their loved ones, we are increasing the availability of phone calls and video conferencing during this time.
Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plans (ARP) Act was signed into law. In it, the U.S. Department of Education is providing an additional $121.9 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III Fund). This legislation will award grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) for providing local educational agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.
South Carolina will receive $2,112,051,487 in ESSER III funds from the Act, with 90 percent being awarded to school districts with amounts determined in proportion to the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in summer 2020 from funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The remaining funds will be used for state-level activities to address issues caused by COVID-19.
This plan describes how the LEA or district will provide the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services for all schools, including those that have already returned to in-person instruction. This report template complies with all reporting requirements of the ARP Act (Public Law 117-2), the ESSER III grant terms, conditions, and assurances (CFDA Number 84.425U), and the interim final rule established by the United States Department of Education, 86 FR 21195.