Juvenile Justice Chaos In South Carolina: 16-Year-Old In ICU After Assault

The violence is getting worse….

As Gov. Henry McMaster ignores the imploding disaster at the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ), violence is escalating inside that state’s government-run facilities, according to multiple sources.

On Monday evening, a 16-year-old was reportedly beaten with a metal-pole-like weapon at the Broad River Road Complex (BRRC) in Columbia, South Carolina, according to our sources at the SCDJJ.

This news outlet was provided with the name of the victim and a graphic description of the injuries he reportedly sustained.  At this time, we are not releasing that information. 

All we can confirm for now is that the 16-year-old is reportedly in an intensive care unit at a Columbia, S.C. hospital having sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of the attack. 

According to sources, the SCDJJ’s dangerous staffing levels delayed the amount of time it took them to get the boy to the hospital.

The SCDJJ is spiraling out of control as the number of security officers decreases, violence spikes, and South Carolina children are caught in the crossfire.

According to our sources, this is the second time a head injury has occurred at the BRRC in the last two weeks. The staffing shortage has only gotten worse this summer — and sources are worried that the violence is going to get deadly.

SCDJJ Getting worse

Last month, FITSNews founding editor Will Folks reported that the SCDJJ reportedly handcuffed one of the top guards at the agency – lieutenant Ricky Dyckes — and escorted him off the BRCC property.

“It’s only going to get worse now that Dyckes is gone,” a SCDJJ source told FITSNews. “The kids really respected and loved Dyckes. He was one of the only male guards left there who could really control them.”

Dyckes was one of many guards who participated in a walkout at the agency earlier this summer.

Multiple SCDJJ sources told FITSNews that Dyckes was fired in retaliation for speaking out against the agency.

Dyckes was one of many whistleblowers at the SCDJJ who have been sounding the alarm to expose the imploding disaster inside the state-run facilities.

This spring, lawmakers met multiple times to discuss a disturbing audit on the disastrous situation at the SCDJJ.

Essentially, auditors said SCDJJ officials have created a disastrous and exceedingly dangerous cycle within its facilities. They aren’t spending enough money on programs to keep incarcerated teenagers occupied and out of trouble, which has sparked an increase of violence. Adding fuel to the flames, the agency has failed to offer essential employees competitive wages, so its security staff members are leaving in droves.

And the violence continues to spike.

“Someone will come out in a body bag whether it be the kids or staff because that’s how bad the situation is going,” one SCDJJ source told FITSNews.

Unfortunately, Gov. Henry McMaster — who hand-picked SCDJJ director Freddie Pough to fix the scandal-scarred agency — has ignored the exceedingly dangerous situation inside the teen detention centers.



Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to



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