Scores of SC juvenile offenders getting diplomas

COLUMBIA, S.C. — More than 100 students who are in juvenile jails across South Carolina are getting their high school diplomas.

The Department of Juvenile Justice said a ceremony with caps and gowns will take place on Wednesday at the agency's main prison in Columbia.

DJJ Director Freddie Pough said in a statement getting a high school diploma is an important step to show juvenile offenders that education can open up opportunities and change the direction of their lives.

The agency has fewer high school graduates than in recent years. But officials said nearly two-thirds of the offenders in South Carolina's juvenile prisons are in eighth or ninth grade, and many of them are on track to finish high school.