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Title 24 - Corrections, Jails, Probations, Paroles and Pardons
CORRECTION AND TREATMENT OF YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS
As used herein:
(a) "Department" means the Department of Corrections.
(b) "Division" means the Youthful Offender Division.
(c) "Director" means the Director of the Department of Corrections.
(d) "Youthful offender" means an offender who is:
(i) under seventeen years of age and has been bound over for proper criminal proceedings to the court of general sessions pursuant to Section 20-7-7605 for allegedly committing an offense that is not a violent crime, as defined in Section 16-1-60, and that is a misdemeanor, a Class E or F felony, as defined in Section 16-1-20, or a felony which provides for a maximum term of imprisonment of less than fifteen years, or
(ii) who is seventeen but less than twenty-five years of age at the time of conviction for an offense that is not a violent crime, as defined in Section 16-1-60, and that is a misdemeanor, a Class E or F felony, or a felony which provides for a maximum term of imprisonment of fifteen years or less.
(e) "Treatment" means corrective and preventive guidance and training designed to protect the public by correcting the antisocial tendencies of youthful offenders, this may also include vocational and other training deemed fit and necessary by the Division.
(f) "Conviction" means a judgment in a verdict or finding of guilty, plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere to a criminal charge where the imprisonment may be at least one year, but excluding all offenses in which the maximum punishment provided by law is death or life imprisonment.
Youthful Offender Division created in Department of Corrections; staff.
There is hereby created within the Department of Corrections a Youthful Offender Division. The division shall be staffed by appointees and designees of the Director of the Department of Corrections. The staff members shall be delegated such administrative duties and responsibilities as may be required to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
Duties of Division generally.
The division shall consider problems of treatment and correction; shall consult with and make recommendations to the director with respect to general treatment and correction policies and procedures for committed youthful offenders, and recommend orders to direct the release of youthful offenders conditionally under supervision and the unconditional discharge of youthful offenders; and take such further action and recommend such other orders to the director as may be necessary or proper to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
Adoption of rules.
The division shall adopt such rules as the South Carolina Department of Corrections approves and promulgate them as they apply directly or indirectly to its procedure.
Powers of courts upon conviction of youthful offenders.
In the event of a conviction of a youthful offender the court may:
(1) suspend the sentence and place the youthful offender on probation;
(2) release the youthful offender to the custody of the division before sentencing for an observation and evaluation period of not more than sixty days. The observation and evaluation must be conducted by the Reception and Evaluation Center operating under joint agreement between the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Corrections and the findings and recommendations for sentencing must be returned with the youthful offender to the court for sentencing;
(3) if the offender is under the age of twenty-one, without his consent, sentence the youthful offender indefinitely to the custody of the department for treatment and supervision pursuant to this chapter until discharged by the division, the period of custody not to exceed six years. If the offender is twenty-one years of age but less than twenty-five years of age, he may be sentenced in accordance with this item if he consents in writing;
(4) if the court finds that the youthful offender will not derive benefit from treatment, may sentence the youthful offender under any other applicable penalty provision. The youthful offender must be placed in the custody of the department;
(5) not sentence a youthful offender more than once under this chapter.
Institutions for treatment of youthful offenders.
Youthful offenders shall undergo treatment in minimum security institutions, including training schools, hospitals, farms, forestry and other camps, including vocational training facilities and other institutions and agencies that will provide the essential varieties of treatment.
The director, as far as is advisable and necessary, shall designate, set aside and adopt institutions and agencies under the control of the department and the division for the purpose of carrying out the objectives of this chapter. The director may further maintain a cooperative program with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation involving the operation of reception and evaluation centers, utilizing funds and staffing services of the department which are appropriate for matching with Federal Vocational Rehabilitation funds.
Insofar as practical and to the greatest degree possible, such institutions, facilities and agencies shall be used only for the treatment of committed youthful offenders, and such youthful offenders shall be segregated from other offenders, and classes of committed youthful offenders shall be segregated according to their needs for treatment.
Facilities for Division provided by Department.
Facilities for the Division are to be provided from facilities of the Department.
Reception and evaluation centers.
The director may establish agreements with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for the operation of reception and evaluation centers. The reception and evaluation centers shall make a complete study of each committed youthful offender, including a mental and physical examination, to ascertain his personal traits, his capabilities, pertinent circumstances of his school, family life, any previous delinquency or criminal experience, and any mental or physical defect or other factor contributing to his delinquency. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, such study shall be completed within a period of thirty days. The reception and evaluation center shall forward to the director and to the division a report of its findings with respect to the youthful offender and its recommendations as to his treatment. At least one member of the division shall, as soon as practicable after commitment, interview the youthful offender, review all reports concerning him and make such recommendations to the director and to the division as may be indicated.
Director's options upon receiving report and recommendations from Reception and Evaluation Center and members of Division.
On receipt of the report and recommendations from the Reception and Evaluation Center and from the members of the division, the director may:
(a) recommend to the division that the committed youthful offender be released conditionally under supervision; or
(b) allocate and direct the transfer of the committed youthful offender to an agency or institution for treatment; or
(c) order the committed youthful offender confined and afforded treatment under such conditions as he believes best designed for the protection of the public.
Transfer of youthful offenders.
The director may transfer at any time a committed youthful offender from one agency or institution to any other agency or institution.
Procedure for conditional release of youthful offenders; fee.
The division may at any time after reasonable notice to the director release conditionally under supervision a committed youthful offender. When, in the judgment of the director, a committed youthful offender should be released conditionally under supervision he shall so report and recommend to the division.
The division may regularly assess a reasonable fee to be paid by the youthful offender who is on conditional release to offset the cost of his supervision.
The division may discharge a committed youthful offender unconditionally at the expiration of one year from the date of conditional release.
Time for release of youthful offenders.
A youthful offender shall be released conditionally under supervision on or before the expiration of four years from the date of his conviction and shall be discharged unconditionally on or before six years from the date of his conviction.
Revocation or modification of orders of Division.
The Division may revoke or modify any of its previous orders respecting a committed youthful offender except an order of unconditional discharge.
Committed youthful offenders permitted to remain at liberty under supervision or conditionally released shall be under the supervision of supervisory agents appointed by the Division. The Division is authorized to encourage the formation of voluntary organizations composed of members who will serve without compensation as voluntary supervisory agents and sponsors. The powers and duties of voluntary supervisory agents and sponsors shall be limited and defined by regulations adopted by the Division.
Further treatment of youthful offenders; return to custody.
If, at any time before the unconditional discharge of a committed youthful offender, the Division is of the opinion that such youthful offender will be benefited by further treatment in an institution or other facility any member of the Division may direct his return to custody or if necessary may issue a warrant for the apprehension and return to custody of such youthful offender and cause such warrant to be executed by an appointed supervisory agent, or any policeman. Upon return to custody, such youthful offender shall be given an opportunity to appear before the Division or a member thereof. The Division may then or at its discretion revoke the order of conditional release.
Courts' powers not affected; jurisdiction of Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
Nothing in this chapter limits or affects the power of a court to suspend the imposition or execution of a sentence and place a youthful offender on probation.
Nothing in this chapter may be construed to amend, repeal, or affect the jurisdiction of the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services or the Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services Board. For purposes of community supervision or parole, a sentence pursuant to Section 24-19-50(e) shall be considered a sentence for six years.