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 July 9th, 2009  
St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Detention accreditation manager Jason Wheeler named Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission Assessor of the Year, according to Sheriff Mascara
The Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (”FCAC”) has named Master St. Lucie County Deputy Jason Wheeler, the agency’s accreditation manager, as the commission’s Assessor of the Year, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

Wheeler, 37, is an eight-year veteran of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m extremely proud of Master Deputy Wheeler, whose hard work and professionalism help our jail system maintain the highest standards of contemporary criminal justice operations,” Sheriff Mascara said.

In its announcement June 30, the FCAC said of Wheeler:

Master Deputy Wheeler demonstrates extraordinary support and leadership in furthering the Commission’s goals of assessing agencies fairly and effectively. The FCAC indicated he is “inspiring and charismatic” and dedicated to the Commission’s philosophy, goals and success through his countless late nights and early mornings at our facility, and others throughout the state. Whether through assessment inspections, mock inspections, training, or organizing accreditation projects, Master Deputy Wheeler’s passion for, and expertise in accreditation is obvious.  Because of his commitment to the professional excellence it takes to excel in the accreditation process.

The Department of Detention of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the St. Lucie County jail, has been continuously accredited by FCAC since 2000. The agency’s most recent, three-year reaccreditation took place in February.

Here is information about FCAC from its web site,

Accreditation programs have long been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards. Schools, universities, and hospitals are some of the most well known organizations that are required to maintain accreditation. Corrections agencies in Florida can also attain accredited status through the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc. (FCAC.)

Through the FCAC program facilities have the opportunity to be evaluated against standards developed by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission. This process allows administrative staff to remedy deficiencies and upgrade the quality of correctional programs and services. The benefits from this process include:

- Improved management

- Strengthens the facility's defense against lawsuits and complaints

- Increased accountability

- Enhanced public credibility for administrative and line staff

- A safer and more humane environment for personnel and inmates

- Potential reduction in liability through adoption of sound operating practices

-  Demonstration of a “good faith“ effort to improve conditions of confinement establishment of measurable criteria for upgrading programs, personnel, and physical plant

The overall purpose of FCAC is to improve the delivery of correctional services. All aspects of Correctional operations are addressed through the standards, including: Admission, Classification, Housing, Sanitation, Food Service, Personnel Issues, Fiscal Activities, Security, Training and Medical.

Participation in the accreditation process is strictly voluntary.

There are a total of 237 standards (97 are mandatory; 141 are non-mandatory)
accreditation standards are derived primarily from the Florida Model Jail Standards
standards are specific to the Florida Corrections profession and are compatible with Florida law.

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