South Carolina’s Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (PPP) is expanding a program which it hopes will reduce the caseloads of its probation officers.
The program, authorized by a new law legislators passed in May, allows the agency to hire specialists without full training to handle low-level offenders. The move frees up law enforcement officers to work on offenders who are at a higher risk for committing another crime because they don’t have a job or are in need of drug rehabilitation.
Agency director Jerry Adger said the Offender Supervision Program is aimed at helping low-level offenders while easing an officer’s caseload.
“We have what we call an assessment tool that identifies what level of supervision an offender may be under,” Adger said. “We’re not arbitrarily putting people at different levels.”
He said a 2015 pilot program in the state’s most populous counties was a success. “The offender supervision positions reduced agents’ caseloads in the three largest counties by 47 percent,” Adger said. The counties involved were Greenville, Richland and Charleston.
Gov. Henry McMaster on Tuesday held a ceremonial bill signing for the law he technically approved in late May.