COLUMBIA – Solicitor Duffie Stone, along with Gov. Nikki Haley and other members of the South Carolina Domestic Violence Task Force, held a Statehouse press conference on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, announcing the implantations of the first set of significant, statewide reforms to address domestic violence in South Carolina.
Ten of those recommendations have been addressed through a combination of Executive Orders, the governor’s Executive Budget, and agreements with the state board sand non-government association. The announcement comes less than a year after the task force was created.
Actions taken by the task force:
The Executive Budget for 2016-2017 will fund new prosecutors, new judges, and new public defenders to end the practice of law enforcement officers prosecuting domestic violence crimes in the courtroom, which will also reduce caseloads, decrease backlogs, and ensure that a dedicated prosecutor is assigned to every county in South Carolina.
Executive Order 2016-02 – extends the Task Force to ensure that all 50 Task Force recommendations will be completed and that meaningful results are rendered for the people of South Carolina.
Executive Order 2016-03 – orders that all Cabinet agencies adopt a comprehensive HR policy for domestic violence that includes procedures for confidentiality, safety and security, performance and leave, and educating employees regarding available resources.
Executive Order 2016-04 – orders certain Cabinet agencies that offer direct client services to adopt a risk assessment screening policy for domestic violence.
The task force has created a standardized reporting form for local governments to use when sending their annual report to the Treasurer’s Office of how criminal fines and fees are spent on victim services.