Many of our accomplishments would not be possible without the assistance of other agencies with whom we have formed partnerships.
In the area of prosecution, we work closely with the S.C. Attorney General and his investigative grand jury to uncover and prosecute gang activity. We routinely join forces with the United States Attorney to prosecute career criminals in whichever jurisdiction has the stiffer sentence.
A number of federal grants administered by the S.C. Department of Public Safety have allowed us to launch the Career Criminal Prosecution Unit, the Violence Against Women Prosecution Team, an attorney to prosecute drunk drivers and other prosecution programs.
Our biggest partnership is with Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper Counties along with Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Hardeeville and Ridgeland. This local support helped us to expand the Career Criminal Prosecution Unit.
In 2007, the bipartisan legislative delegation that serves residents of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit helped us become more effective by passing special legislation enabling us to prosecute first-time domestic violence offenders in the same court as murderers and rapists. Until 2015, we were the only circuit in the state with that ability.
A partnership with the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has improved our intelligence-gathering capabilities. This information gives our attorneys the necessary proof to argue for higher bonds and harsher sentences. In 2011, officials with SLED's Fusion Center, the state's law enforcement intelligence center, helped us hire, train and certify our own intelligence analyst. This analyst gathers information from a number of sources, including state and national databases. We have access to millions of dollars worth of hardware and software at no cost to our office.
Our partners also help us in the area of prevention. The S.C. Department of Public Safety and the Town of Hilton Head Island helped us launch and maintain both the Beaufort County Adult Multi-Disciplinary Court and the Beaufort County Juvenile Multi-Disciplinary Court. These courts use substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling and weekly court hearings to both hold non-violent offenders accountable for their actions and to correct the underlying reasons they have committed crimes.
We have worked with Beaufort County to produce and air anti-meth public service announcements. These ads are targeted toward our youth and show the dangers of methamphetamines. Similarly, we have worked with Adventure Radio and Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse (CODA) to produce public service announcements urging victims of domestic violence and witnesses of abuse to contact law enforcement.