Loretta S. Neal
For Immediate Release (803) 896-9518
DJJ to Celebrate End of “Building Blitz”
The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will hold a luncheon on Thursday, August 14th at 12 noon to celebrate the end of its 2003 summer “Building Blitz.” Sixteen juveniles and 7 staff and volunteers participated in the “Building Blitz,” a two week effort to build 20 adirondack chairs for sale to the public. Proceeds from the sale of the “building blitz” chairs will go to victim restitution and juvenile education programs.
DJJ director Bill Byars will be attending the luncheon. “Simply saying you’re sorry is not enough,” Byars said. “This gives boys and girls the opportunity to earn their way back into society while learning real construction skills, developing positive work habits, and providing restitution to victims.”
The community volunteers who helped with the project will also attend the luncheon. These volunteers helped juveniles learn the construction basics needed to build the chairs. “The volunteers were amazing teachers,” said DJJ Director of Community Justice Brett MacGargle. “Many of the juveniles came in without any construction skills and ended up learning how to sand, varnish, saw, drill—you name it.”
The “Building Blitz” is part of a larger DJJ effort aimed at providing victim and community restitution. This “Balanced and Restorative Justice” (BARJ) program is based on the assumption that, when a criminal commits a crime, he or she upsets the “balance” of the community and of the victim’s life. And so the goal of the BARJ program is to restore that lost balance. As part of the program, DJJ juveniles pay victim restitution, engage in construction work, write apology letters to their victim(s) and community, and engage in other activities designed to help them repair the damage they’ve done.
The “Building Blitz” luncheon will begin at noon on Thursday, August 14th in the Willow Lane Activities Center and Chapel on DJJ’s Broad River Road complex. Media representatives are reminded not to air or print any photos, videos or facts which identify DJJ juveniles and/or their families, unless granted advance permission to do so for specific juveniles and/or family members.
The Department of Juvenile Justice, a state cabinet agency, is 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. The agency is focused on building and maintaining a balanced and restorative juvenile justice system and on achieving its mission, “to provide for a continuum of effective interventions that enables juveniles to become responsible, productive citizens and fosters safe and healthy communities.”
South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice
4900 Broad River Road
Columbia SC, 29212-3552