GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – According to Governor Henry McMaster, an ongoing investigation into the Department of Juvenile Justice is best way to get the department the resources it needs.
Early reports of an internal audit released back in April says a staff shortage led to an increase in the number of incidents and injuries at the facility.
The audit went on to say 57-percent of staff reported to not feel safe at work, compared to 40-percent in 2017.
“It is clear that it is tough in these sorts of facilities all around the country,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “We have problems just like we do in correctional facilities.”
Other concerns listed in the report include lack of timely medical care and violations of security procedures.
Once initials findings were released, Governor McMaster requested an independent review of the Department of Juvenile Justice by state investigators.
“Of course we have the whole team on the field,” Gov. McMaster said. “We have the Department of Administration reviewing their procedures, their finances. SLED, Chief Keel is also involved.”
While visiting the Upstate on Tuesday, Gov. McMaster said the goal of the investigation is to ensure the department has all of the training and resources it needs to do the job.
“We have been concentrating on the pay and benefits for some time and recently all offered $75-hundred dollar signing bonus for new employees and $1-thousand dollar bonus for those who bring a new employee with them,” said Gov. McMaster.
But argues right now, it’s a struggle to get people to go into law enforcement jobs.
The Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice said filling staff shortages is the main priority for the facility, and that improvements are already in the works.
A panel of Senators are meeting Tuesday to question DJJ Director Freddie Pough following last week’s walk out. There will also be public testimony taken.