COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster today announced Freddie Pough as the next director of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Mr. Pough has served as acting director of the agency since January 27 of this year, and the governor has now submitted him for confirmation to the South Carolina Senate.
“Mr. Pough has worked tirelessly during his time at DJJ to implement needed changes at the agency, demonstrating his ability to lead with the vision and determination necessary for achieving DJJ’s core mission - rehabilitating and protecting the juveniles in its care,” said Gov. McMaster. “I look forward to continuing our work together to find new, innovative, and effective ways to reduce juvenile recidivism and set those in the agency’s care on a path towards leading productive and fulfilling lives.”
With over 15 years of experience in law enforcement, Mr. Pough began his career as a front-line Juvenile Correctional Officer at DJJ and went on to serve as Lieutenant in the Midlands Investigative Region for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Beginning in 2016, Mr. Pough served as DJJ’s inspector general prior to Governor McMaster naming him acting director.
“I look forward to continue leading DJJ into a future of reform and the best interests of juveniles and South Carolina. Our entire DJJ team is dedicated and selfless,” Mr. Pough said. “I am humbled and thankful for Governor McMaster’s faith in me to lead DJJ.”
Since taking over as acting director, Mr. Pough has implemented 91% of changes recommended by the Legislative Audit Council’s early 2017 report – including those aimed at training and retaining officers and protecting juveniles in the agency’s care.
Additionally, Mr. Pough has proposed a regionalization effort that will better serve the needs of South Carolina’s juveniles by keeping them closer to home, making it easier for parents to visit their children and smoothing the transition when they are released – factors known to contribute to lower recidivism. In 2017, 160 juveniles took the General Equivalency Development tests, more than double the number from the 2014-2015 school year.
Mr. Pough, 40, is a resident of Richland County and is married with one daughter.