About PPP

Our History

Glossary of Terms

Chronological History of the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services


S.C. Probation and Parole Board established. This Board made recommendations on parole matters subject to approval by the Governor.


The powers and duties of a separate Board of Pardons were merged into the Probation and Parole Board, and the new panel was renamed the Probation, Parole, and Pardon Board.


The South Carolina Constitution was amended to restrict the clemency powers of the Governor to granting reprieves and commuting death sentences to life imprisonment. All other clemency power was vested in the Board, which then became – and still remains – the sole authority in the State empowered to grant pardons and issue and revoke paroles.


The Board was renamed the Parole and Community Corrections Board under that year’s Community Corrections Act, which mandated internal reorganization. The act also created the Department of Parole and Community Corrections. The new agency reported to the Board and was responsible for developing new initiatives and a variety of supervision capacities for adult offenders.


The Department created the Office of Victim Services (OVS), becoming the first probation/parole agency in the country to hire staff whose sole responsibility was to work with victims. The missions of the Board and the Department were further expanded with passage of the Omnibus Criminal Justice Improvements Act. This law mandated development of a broader range of community punishments as sentencing options for the Court – punishments that could be individually applied to fit both the criminal offender and the offense committed.  


The Department opened its first Restitution Center in Columbia under a cooperative effort with the Department of Corrections.


The Board and Department were renamed, respectively, the Board of Paroles and Pardons and Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (SCDPPPS). The Department of Corrections began contracting with the Department to provide supervision services to offenders under the Youthful Offender Act.


The Department became a cabinet-level agency, with the Director reporting directly to the Governor. The Board’s focus shifted exclusively to deciding matters regarding paroles and pardons, with the Department continuing to function in a supporting role for the Board.


The SC Board of Paroles and Pardons began conducting its hearings utilizing teleconferencing equipment.


The Department began to collect and distribute Court Ordered victim restitution previously collected by the Clerk of Courts. The Department began subcontracting with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to provide electronic monitoring of juvenile offenders. DJJ currently contracts for their own equipment and the Department continues to provide computer assistance to DJJ for electronic monitoring.


The Office of Safety Enforcement and Professional Responsibility was formed with the primary responsibility of aggressively pursuing absconders from lawful probationary and parole sentences. The Department began a collaborative effort to assist the Highway Patrol and SLED in providing security at special events such as Bike Week.


Act 352 of 2000 was adopted to clarify that a Probation Agent has the power and authority to enforce the criminal laws of the State. The Department began a cooperative agreement with the Department of Juvenile Justice to collect DNA samples from juvenile offenders in the community. In times of state emergencies, the Department has assumed the responsibility for providing security at all evacuation centers throughout the state; assisting the Highway Patrol with traffic; and assisting SLED with security needs.


The Department started a Victims’ Advisory Council. Its members consist of victims and service providers from across the state. The Council meets quarterly to discuss issues of concern.


The Interstate Compact Act was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law.


All probation and parole county offices have immediate access to live offender information through the use of laptop technology in the courtroom. The agency incorporated the use of state-of-the-art Global Positioning Satellite technology into the supervision of certain higher-risk offenders. This grant-funded project was piloted in 15 local probation and parole offices.


In June of 2006, Governor Mark Sanford signed Jessie's Law, a bill aimed at protecting the state's children through tougher penalties for sexual predators. The legislation imposed a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison for sexual predators, and mandated Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) monitoring for sex offenders convicted of certain offenses. The Department received grant funding to implement digital fingerprinting in 14 pilot probation and parole counties. This technology replaced the use of “ink and paper” fingerprinting of offenders and allows Agents to obtain and transmit offender fingerprints electronically to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).  


Governor Sanford signed the “Prevention of Underage Drinking and Access to Alcohol Act” into law in June of 2007 which mandated an Ignition Interlock Device Program in South Carolina. The new program is administered by SCDPPPS, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles and the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, with SCDPPPS as the lead Agency.


Following the State Legislature’s passage of the Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) of 2010, SCDPPPS has demonstrated significant progress in criminal justice reform. Sentencing reform mandates have enabled the Department to implement alternative strategies to incarceration in order to reduce the state’s reliance on prisons. The overall goal of the SRA was to reduce crime in cost effective ways. The major goals of sentencing reform are to 1) Ensure fairness and certainty in sentencing as well as make certain justice for crime victims; 2) Improve release practices through the implementation of cost-effective reentry strategies; 3) Strengthen probation and parole by shifting limited resources to supervise high risk-offenders using evidence-based practices while implementing new supervision strategies geared towards those offenders least likely to re-offend; and 4) Establish ongoing oversight through the formation of the Sentencing Reform Oversight Committee.


In 2014, “Emma’s Law” was signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley. This law greatly enhances the existing Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program by 1) Requiring DUI first offenders with a Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) of .15 or greater to complete the program; 2) Requiring a camera be installed on all IIDs; 3) Removing the hard suspension period associated with DUI second and subsequent offenders; 4) Removing the option of non-participation in the IID Program; requiring completion of the program before obtaining a non-restrictive license; and 5) Providing stiff penalties for driving a vehicle without the IID.