SC Juvenile Justice may still be unable to prevent riot says audit

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State auditors say the Department of Juvenile Justice may still be unable to prevent “major disturbances” despite security changes following several gang-related riots at the main prison.

The Legislative Audit Council said in a report released Thursday the agency remains understaffed; its officers are not properly trained; its security policies are outdated; and its police department is ineffective.

Auditors also faulted DJJ for encouraging employees to retire or resign, saying the 2015 programs reduced the number of much-needed officers without significant cost savings.

Agency director Sylvia Murray disagrees with the findings. She says there hasn’t been a “major disturbance” since the February 2016 riot that got legislators’ attention. She credits “extensive” security changes.

Charges against juveniles for that riot include attempted sexual assault and burglary, attempted murder and arson.

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