The agency which oversees juvenile detention and rehabilitation in South Carolina will have new leadership in the coming months.
The State newspaper reported Friday that state Department of Juvenile Justice director Margaret Barber is retiring from her position. At a Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children meeting held Thursday evening, State Rep. Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort, and Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, informally announced that Barber will be retiring from her office next month. The newspaper reports Barber was in attendance as an ex-officio member of the children’s committee, but did not comment.
A DJJ spokeswoman has not yet calls from South Carolina Radio Network.
Barber became the DJJ director shortly after Gov. Nikki Haley took office in 2011. Barber has over 40-years experience in juvenile justice. According to the department’s website, Barber has worked her way up through the agency as a county director, regional administration of the Upstate of South Carolina, and then Chief of Staff to former DJJ Director Bill Byars.
During her time in the post, Barber has focused on improving the jobs skills of teens in DJJ custody, opening a Jobs Readiness Training Center last year and starting up a new store that sells products made by teens in the agency’s system. The agency also began a program that would have some juvenile defenders meet with their victims to negotiate a punishment.
Barber’s retirement will be the third leadership change for Governor Nikki Haley’s second term. Earlier this week, the state’s Medicaid director Tony Keck announced he is taking a job with a Tennessee company. Then the Governor’s Office announced Thursday that Haley’s chief of staff Ted Pitts was taking a job with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. State Ethics Commission chairman James Burns will become Haley’s new chief of staff while her former deputy chief of staff Christian Soura will work as the new Medicaid director.