Director of Dept. of Juvenile Justice and Governor McMaster react to the employee walkout Friday morning
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– Employees at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice walked off the job this morning. Some teachers and security staff stood outside the Broad River facility, saying they’ve had enough with the long hours, pay and poor working conditions. One employee told ABC Columbia that many are working 24-36 hours straight, blaming severe understaffing problems.
Employees also say they feel the kids in the facility are not safe. The dozen or more employees who protested say they need reduced hours and increased pay.
DJJ Director Freddie Pough spoke with protesters for a little over an hour outside DJJ Friday afternoon. He told ABC Columbia News he is not unsympathetic to his employees concerns.
Governor Henry McMaster nominated current DJJ Director Freddie Pough. Earlier Friday, the governor acknowledged there are issues in the department but said a walk out is not the way to go about achieving change.
Today’s walkout is only the most recent trouble for the DJJ. Back in May, state lawmakers grilled Director Pough after an audit found many deep rooted problems, including an uptick in violence and a failure to maintain adequate security staffing. Last year, the department of justice found that the department was violating the civil rights of its detainees.