A family court judge may order an assesment of a juvenile prior to making a final decision in the case. This involves psychological, social, and educational evaluations conducted either in the community or at one of DJJ's three regional evaluation centers.
If a community evaluation is ordered, a DJJ psychologist will evaluate the juvenile in their local community, interviewing the juvenile and speaking with local DJJ officials.
If a judge orders temporary commitment to a DJJ evaluation center, the juvenile is sent to either the Coastal Evaluation Center (in the Lowcountry), the Midlands Evaluation Center (in the Midlands), or the Upstate Evaluation Center (in the Upstate). There, the juvenile receives a complete psychological, social, educational, and medical evaluation from a staff of DJJ psychologists, social workers, teachers, and medical personnel. This evaluation generally takes from 30-45 days to complete. Once it is complete, a report is issued and provided to the court.