New Doors are Opening at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice

October 7, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – October 7, 2008 – A new era is dawning for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and one of its major supporters, the Friends of Juvenile Justice (FJJ) foundation. The FJJ will be among the first non-profit foundations to construct a building on state property with the intent of presenting the structure to the state of South Carolina, at no cost to taxpayers.

This unprecedented transfer of ownership of the Bill Rogers Community Connections Center took place on September 6, 2008 at DJJ’s Broad River Road Complex, where the Center is located.

A Columbia businesswoman, Louise Slater, chairs the foundation, which collaborates with individuals and agencies within the public, private and independent sectors to provide resources and attention to at-risk youth.

The Center is named for DJJ supporter, Columbia businessman and philanthropist Bill Rogers.

The opening of this new state of the art, 10,000-square foot facility not only marks a new beginning for juvenile justice in our state; it also signals completion of the first-phase of a historic partnership. DJJ’s innovative leadership is engaging the private sector and civil/faith-based organizations to deliver services to achieve unmatched outcomes that are helping to reform the juvenile justice system.

In just three years, FJJ went about the business of raising millions of dollars in private funds to build a facility for troubled youth, where they can visit with family, and meet with volunteer tutors and mentors, treatment team members, educators, and chaplains in a rehabilitative environment.

The Center is being introduced as a symbol of a new era of private/public partnerships that will lead to cost savings for the state, job training for the youth, and the investment of public resources back into the community.

FJJ is continuing its Community Connections Campaign to raise funds to complete the garden surrounding the Center. The garden will provide a landscape of healing for children faced with issues that have led them to make poor decisions.

Youth housed at DJJ will enhance their technical and vocational skills – from carpentry, masonry, gardening to welding – by helping to build and maintain the garden.

About FJJ

The Friends of Juvenile Justice is a non-profit foundation that collaborates with individuals and agencies within the public, private and independent sectors to provide resources, attention and care to at-risk and incarcerated youth. Understanding the mammoth tasks with which the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice has been charged, FJJ serves DJJ by providing programs, advocacy and funding for prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration programs.

About DJJ

As the state agency responsible for providing rehabilitation and custodial care for the state’s juveniles who are on probation, incarcerated, or on parole for a criminal or status offense, DJJ actively seeks employees that foster its mission. That mission supports the Governor’s mission by protecting the public and reclaiming juveniles through prevention, community programs, education and rehabilitative services in the least restrictive environment.

For more information about DJJ visit