An accreditation program has 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. Now, law enforcement agencies and Inspectors General in Florida can attain accredited status through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. Correctional facilities and agencies with pretrial responsibilities can achieve accredited status through the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc.
A team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) have examined all aspects of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services. The Sheriff’s Office has to comply with approximately 260 standards in order to receive accredited status. Many of the standards are critical to life, health and safety issues. The assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar agencies. The assessors review written materials; interview individuals; and visit offices and other places where compliance can be witnessed. Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to receive accredited status. Accreditation is for three years.
The Department of Detention that operates the St. Lucie County Jail is accredited by two entities, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) and the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC).
The facility has been accredited by the NCCHC since 1998, with the last three audits proving a 100% compliance rate. It was nominated in 2013 as the Facility of
the Year. The facility has been accredited by the FCAC since 1998 and in the last five audits, has received 100% compliance and was awarded the "Excelsior" award in 2014. In Florida, only 32 of 67 counties have accredited jails and only 13 of those 32 have been awarded Excelsior status. In addition to these accrediting bodies, the Florida Model Jail Standards has inspected the jail facility annually since 1998 and deteremined it to be in 100% compliance with all applicable standards since 2006.