Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Constance “Connie” Shockley Garner was recently recognized by Lexington County as their 2018 Employee of the Year. Connie is a Pretrial Intervention (PTI) case manager at the Eleventh Solicitor’s Office and has been with the County of Lexington for 28 years.
In the letter nominating Connie for this honor, Solicitor Rick Hubbard and his staff said that Connie has aided thousands of individuals by giving them the opportunity to have a second chance. They said she has a passion and a commitment to assist those who have simply made a mistake. She allows them that opportunity for redemption so that they will not suffer in the years to come because of a wrong choice they made when they decided to break the law. The group who presented the letter said that Connie’s grace and faith is unmatched. She is patient, supportive, and willing to help those who really want assistance. They also said Connie goes above and beyond when working with the participants in PTI.
Only select offenders are eligible for PTI. Participants must complete certain requirements that may include drug testing, counseling, restitution to their victim, community service, and they must maintain contact with their case manager. Once they’ve completed the program, their charges are dismissed. They can also apply for an order that would expunge their record which wipes their slate clean.
The group who submitted the nominations said that over the past 28 years, Connie has influenced the lives of thousands of participants through the program. She has forged relationships with some that they’ve never experienced before. She has demonstrated to participants that she believes in them and their abilities. They pointed out that Connie has faith that participants will make the right choices in the future after completing PTI. Not only has she received numerous notes thanking her for her support, she has also had unexpected visits form past participants who will drop by to tell her how the program changed their lives for the better. These people who could have easily been entangled in the criminal justice system for years, are now law abiding, taxpaying members of society. In closing Solicitor Hubbard said, “Connie is an example of a public servant who believes in the mission of Pretrial Intervention and comes to work every day willing to go the extra mile to ensure a positive outcome for the participants of the program. To Connie this is more than a job; it is her passion.”
Connie is married to former Pelion Police Chief Chris Garner (ret.). The couple have one son, William, a freshman at Newberry College who is studying Criminal Justice.