South Carolina has 17 treatment centers housing young adults that struggle with behavioral disorders. However, some of these centers house violent teens that did not commit the crime or crimes in South Carolina–which is posing a threat to nearby residents because they are not held under South Carolina law, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.
The most recent case involved four violent teens sent from Washington D.C. escaping from the Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health facility in Dorchester County. Summerville Town Councilman Walter Bailey says one of the teens was reportedly charged with attempted murder.
The main problem is it’s an enforcement problem. This kid is 19-years-old I don’t know when he was adjudicated but if he had committed the crime he was adjudicated for in South Carolina at the age of 17, 18 or 19, he’d be treated as an adult.
Bailey says the problem is that neither state nor law enforcement has control over the centers. Residents next to Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health have complained recently about the violent teens being placed in these facilities–practically their backyards.
The 19-year-old, whose name has not been released, escaped from the facility and reportedly is at large.
They can’t charge his for escape because he’s not, hasn’t been locked up by law enforcement here. He hadn’t committed a crime here so he’s running around lose, he’s dangerous and the police–their hands are tied.
This specific Dorchester County facility is located in a suburban area. Neighbors are worried the security policy is just not enough for the home. Palmetto Behavioral Health is surrounded by a 6-foot-tall fence with lattice along the top. Bailey and other town councilmen say they are concerned and want to raise awareness of this problem.