The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (PPP) is the first independent community supervision agency in the nation to earn accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
The agency is the third Cabinet-level agency in South Carolina to receive CALEA accreditation, along with the State Law Enforcement Division and the Department of Public Safety.
“This accreditation is the direct result of the governor and his staff in support of the PPP for guidance and budgetary needs,” Director Jerry Adger said. “It is also the result of a strong support from the South Carolina Senate and the House of Representatives.”
PPP announced the accreditation with a news conference that included Gov Henry McMaster in Columbia on Tuesday. The agency is tasked with enforcing probation and parole for released inmates across South Carolina. The agency has often struggled in its past with tracking tens of thousands of offenders despite a limited staff.
Adger said the accreditation is a boost in morale for employees, who may have had some identity issues after the department became a Cabinet agency. In 2000, agents were given power and authority to enforce the criminal laws of the state.
“Then they became a law enforcement agency and I don’t think they really understood what that meant,” Adger said. “Today they really know that they are truly a law enforcement agency.”
As part of the accreditation, 450 of the SCDPPSPS agents are fully certified through the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and meet the requirements of law enforcement officers.
“This is a first and there’s no other probation, pardon and parole outfit in the country,” former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal said. “so this is a leadership in so many ways for South Carolina.”
CAEA was created in 1979 as the first independent, international law enforcement credentialing authority working with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriff’s Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.
NOTE: The article initially referred to Jean Toal as “SC Supreme Court Chief Justice” rather than “former.” SC Radio Network regrets the error.