South Carolina Department of Corrections

OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS DIVISION OF YOUNG OFFENDER PAROLE & REENTRY SERVICES

OVERVIEW
The Division of Young Offender Parole and Reentry Services (YOPRS) encompasses both institution and community-based services for male and female offenders sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act (YOA). Those who are eligible must be less than 25 years of age at the time of conviction and have no previous YOA convictions. The types of eligible convictions are limited to non-violent, Class D felonies or lesser offenses, punishable by 15 years of imprisonment or less, with two exceptions: second-degree burglary, violent, and lewd act upon a child under very limited circumstances. A Youthful Offender may apply to have their record expunged if they have no other convictions during the five-year period following completion of their sentence.

MISSION:
The mission of the Division of YOPRS is to reduce recidivism of Youthful Offenders by utilizing evidence-based principles/practices that teach accountability, enhance skill development, and promote public safety.

INSTITUTION BASED SERVICES

Evidenced-Based Programming
YOPRS works in collaboration with SCDC's Division of Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse/Mental Health to provide evidence-based programming for Youthful Offenders. Services are individualized and include risk assessments that identify individual criminogenic needs, as well as assets, and evidence-based programming that promotes the rehabilitative process. Services focus on cognitive restructuring that provides the foundation needed for successful re-entry in the community. Programming includes, but is not limited to:

  • Thinking for A Change
  • Impact of Crime
  • Family Focus
  • Anger Management
  • Individual/Group Counseling
  • Community Meetings
  • Parenting
  • GED Preparation/Testing
  • Substance Abuse Education/Addictions Treatment

Shock Incarceration Program
The Shock Incarceration Program is a 90-day institution-based program designed as an alternative to traditional incarceration. The program diverts young offenders between the ages of 17 to 29 from prison and further criminal activity. The program focus is on personal accountability and character development.

In order for an individual to be placed in the Shock Incarceration Program, the sentencing judge must court order a 15-day evaluation to determine medical, emotional and psychological suitability. Eligibility criteria are:

  • Must be 17 to 29 years of age upon admission to the SCDC
  • Must be eligible for parole in two years or less (eight year maximum incarcerated or suspended sentence)
  • Must not be convicted of a violent offense or a "no parole offense"
  • Must be serving a first time commitment in a state correctional facility (no prior commitments over 90 days)
  • Must be physically and mentally suitable

Programming for the Shock Incarceration Program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Daily Physical Training
  • Community Service Work
  • GED Preparation/Testing
  • Impact of Crime
  • Anger Management
  • Substance Abuse Education
  • Parenting
  • Money Management
  • Group/Individual Counseling

Upon completion of the mandatory 90-day sentence to the Shock Incarceration Program, participants are paroled and supervised in the community by the SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES

Intensive Supervision Services (ISS)
The recidivism rate for Youthful Offenders released from SCDC in FY 2010-11 was over 50%. At that time, the Youthful Offender population was described as the most challenging and least successful under parole supervision in the community. In response, SCDC implemented a new community supervision service called Intensive Supervision.

ISS is based on the nationally recognized Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) Model that utilizes evidenced-based practices proven to assist in the reduction of recidivism, improved family and individual functioning, and ensure community safety. It is designed to promote community safety, reduce victimization, and ensure the successful reentry of young offenders back into the community.

Through ISS, an Intensive Supervision Officer (ISO) works in the community and is assigned to each Youthful Offender upon admission at SCDC. Unlike the traditional parole officer, an ISO acts in a proactive manner in the life of each offender under his/her supervision and manages a caseload of no more than 20 individuals.

The role of the ISO is multi-faceted but can be captured in the following basic job duties:
  • Work with SCDC institutions to assess each offender's risk/assets and develop and plan for reentry services
  • Target and utilize community resources and services to reduce the likelihood of re-offending
  • Maintain frequent (at least weekly) contact with each offender in the community to ensure a structured and productive daily schedule
  • Use progressive supervision practices to hold offenders accountable and keep them in the community
  • Provide an effective blend of intensive surveillance and therapeutic services
  • Work to ensure that offenders make reparation to their victims and communities, to include paying restitution and performing community service work
  • Work to ensure that offenders lead crime free lives and resist gang affiliation

INTENSIVE SUPERVISION ADMINISTRATIVE RELEASE AUTHORITY (ISARA):

YOPRS has the legal authority to conditionally release any Youthful Offender from SCDC. This authority is managed through the ISARA. The ISARA is comprised of a manager and a three-member panel of corrections professionals, to include a victim representative, which considers and approves/disapproves the release of offenders to Intensive Supervision in the community. Recommendations from the affected correctional institution, community and victim(s) are requested and considered in the release process.

The ISARA also considers and approves/disapproves any parole violations that may require an action to revoke an offender's parole.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you wish for additional information concerning the Division of YOPRS, please contact write:

Ginny Barr, Director
Division of YOPRS
S.C. Department of Corrections
Post Office Box 21787
Columbia, SC 29221-1787

803-896-1777 or barr.ginny@doc.sc.gov