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The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE: Batterer Treatment Programs/Summary Court Sentencing


Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §16-25-20 a magistrate and municipal court judge may suspend the imposition or execution of all or part of a sentence for a conviction of criminal domestic violence, first offense, conditioned upon the offender completing, to the satisfaction of the court, a batterer treatment program approved by the Department of Social Services (DSS). I find that circuit solicitors statewide, in their statutory authority over criminal prosecutions within their respective jurisdictions, could provide valuable input in determining which batterer treatment programs within their jurisdictions are most effective in rehabilitating criminal domestic violence offenders.

Therefore, the judges of the summary courts of South Carolina being a part of the uniform statewide judicial and pursuant to the provisions of Section 4, Article V, South Carolina Constitution,

IT IS ORDERED that circuit solicitors within their respective jurisdictions statewide shall approve, in addition to DSS approval, appropriate batterer treatment programs which are most suitable for magistrates and municipal court judges to order a defendant to attend as a condition of a suspended sentence for a conviction of criminal domestic violence, first offense. Circuit solicitors, in cooperation with DSS, shall provide a list of these programs to the chief magistrates of the counties within their respective circuits as often as is necessary by the solicitors, chief magistrates, and DSS.  Upon receipt, chief magistrates shall distribute the list to all magistrates and municipal judges within their respective counties.

The provisions of this Order are effective immediately and remain in effect unless amended or revoked by subsequent Order of the Chief Justice.

  s/Jean Hoefer Toal
Jean Hoefer Toal
Chief Justice

January 18, 2012
Columbia, South Carolina