Accreditation Unit

Welcome to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Accreditation Unit web page. This webpage was developed to inform the community of the accreditation programs the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office participates in and what that means to the citizens of Jacksonville.

We hope you find this page informative and useful. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact the Accreditation Unit at (904) 630-2188 or JSOaccreditation@jaxsheriff.org.
 

What is Accreditation?


Accreditation is a process whereby a professional association or nongovernmental agency grants formal recognition to an institution for demonstrated ability to meet predetermined criteria for established standards.  Schools, universities, and hospitals are some of the most well known organizations that are required to maintain accreditation.
 

What does Accreditation mean to the citizens we serve?

The Accreditation program gives the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office the tools necessary to ensure that all policies and procedures conform to the most up-to-date professional law enforcement standards. International law enforcement accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and state accreditation through the Commission of Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) is not mandatory, but it does reflect the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office willingness to demonstrate professional excellence to the Jacksonville community. The Commission on Accreditation for law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) was formed in 1979 to develop a set of professional law enforcement standards. Law enforcement agencies at the state and local levels must demonstrate voluntarily that they meet the stringent criteria. The commission administers the accreditation process and awards law enforcement agencies with certification. The overall goal of the accreditation program is to promote professionalism and improve the delivery of law enforcement services.

 

What are the standards that we must meet?

The Standards address six major law enforcement topics:

1. Role, Responsibilities & Relationships with other Agencies
2. Organization, Management and Adminsitration
3. Personnel Administration
4. Enforcement, Operational Support and Traffic Enforcement
5. Prisoner and Court-related Services
6. Auxiliary and Technical Services

Designed to reflect the best professional practices in each of the six areas, the standards deal with the "what to" leaving the decisions of "how to" up to each agency. The accreditation process can take from 2 to 5 years for initial accreditation. To be re-accredited, the Division of Police executed and "Application for Re-Accreditation". and submitted to the Commission a plan for achieving re-accreditation (Annual Report) and the progress conducted toward specific goals. An on-site inspection is conducted within 36 months to confirm compliance to current standards.
 

What is Re-Accreditation?

Initial accreditation requires compliance with 80% of non-mandatory standards. The Commission requires increasing levels of compliance during each re-accreditation process up to 95%. Our agencies is currently required to meet a level of compliance of 95%. We are also of course required to come into compliance with all applicable mandatory standards including new ones enacted by the commission following accreditation or the previous re-accreditation. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office during our last re-accreditation was in 100% compliance with all mandatory and non-mandatory standards. This is an accomplishment that the Agency and the community can be proud of.

 

Why are we Accredited?


Participation in the accreditation process gives the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office the tools necessary to ensure that all policies and procedures conform to the most up-to-date professional law enforcement, correctional, and correctional healthcare standards.
 
Some of the more specific ways in which being accredited benefits our agency are
  • Defense against lawsuits - Maintaining this level of professionalism assists with deterring frivolous lawsuits. Our compliance with National standards makes the defense process easier.
  • Integrity - Accreditation forces us to evaluate our own processes, the how and why we do things. The accreditation process insures that we do what we say we do.
  • Discipline - Employees have guidance and ground rules. Employees are aware of the disciplinary boundaries. There is a clear vision of what is acceptable and not permissible under policies that hold both employee and administration accountable.
  • Accountability - Accreditation makes all functions of our agency accountable: from training to administration to operations. It applies to all actions such as keeping current with legal, professional, or equipment issues, discipline, emergency plans, etc.
  • Pride - Being accredited creates a level of professionalism that only a small percentage of agencies have achieved. This is accomplished by meeting comprehensive national standards. Other agencies look to us as a model for policies and professional methods.
  • Public Benefit - In conjunction with the philosophy of community policing, accreditation commits the agency to a broad range of programs (such as crime prevention) that directly benefit the public.
     

Who are our accrediting organizations?


The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is currently accredited by five accrediting organizations:
  • Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA)  - CALEA is an international law enforcement accreditation organization. CALEA was formed in 1979 with the purpose of improving the delivery of public safety services. 
  • The American Correctional Association (ACA) - Founded in 1870, ACA is a private nonprofit organization that administers the only national accreditation program for all components of adult and juvenile corrections.
  • The Commission of Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. (CFA) - CFA was formed in 1993 due to Florida State Statute 943.125 requiring the Florida Sheriff’s Association and the Florida Police Chief’s Association to create a voluntary law enforcement accreditation program.
  • The Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC) - FCAC was formed in 1998 with the overall purpose of FCAC of improving the delivery of correctional services including: Admission, Classification, Housing, Sanitation, Food Service, Personnel Issues, Fiscal Activities, Security, Training and Medical.
  • The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) – Since the 1970s, NCCHC has offered its voluntary health services accreditation program improve the quality of medical and mental health care in jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has maintained its accredited status with CALEA since 1992; ACA and NCCHC since 1996; and with CFA and FCAC since 1998.

The National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) recognizes those agencies who have simultaneously achieved accreditation from the three leading Law Enforcement Accrediting bodies; CALEA, ACA, and NCCHC. Achieving these accreditations individually is a daunting task; however, acquiring all three at the same time is an extraordinary feat.The NSA awards agencies that achieve this type of accreditation with the distinguished “Triple Crown” award.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is currently one of only 41 agencies nationwide to have earned the “Triple Crown” award.   
 
Being accredited is not mandatory for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, but it does reflect our commitment to demonstrate professional excellence to the Jacksonville community.
 
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