By DOTTY NIST
A recent official inspection of the Walton County Jail has resulted in the renewal of accreditation for the facility by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC) and a glowing report by the agency.
Walton County Department of Corrections (DOC) Director Maj. Stan Sunday provided an update on the re-accreditation in a report to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) at their Nov. 27 regular meeting in DeFuniak Springs. Sunday also provided the BCC with copies of the six-page FCAC report document.
The BCC took over operation of the jail in January 2007 and created the DOC to operate the facility, which was at that time housed in DeFuniak Springs behind the county courthouse. In April 2007, the jail was moved to a new, much larger facility four miles north of DeFuniak.
Sunday reported that the 584-bed facility had first received accreditation in 2009 and that an assessment for re-accreditation is conducted every three years. He told the commissioners that a FCAC assessment team undertook that process Nov. 7 through Nov. 9. The assessment team consisted of law enforcement officers from three Florida counties.
According to the report, interviews with staff and inmates were conducted, files reviewed, and other observations made.
Sunday told the commissioners that the assessment team had been impressed with the facility, expecially with its cleanliness and the pride evidenced, along with the quality of the work of staff.
According to the conclusions of the report, all DOC personnel were “friendly, professional, and knowledgeable.” There were other favorable comments on the enthusiasm and demeanor of the personnel and their reception of the assessment team members.
The report found the DOC to be in compliance with 100 percent of applicable mandatory standards and 100 percent of applicable other-than-mandatory standards.
Sunday noted that the DOC would have had the ability to opt out of up to 10 percent of the standards but chose not to do so. He told the commissioners that he was very proud of his staff.
Recognized at the Nov. 27 meeting were key DOC personnel in attendance, including: Della Shaw of the DOC Accreditation Team; Lt. Micheal Gainey, accreditation manager; Marti Bishop, administrative assistant; Lt. Nancy Barker, operations commander; and Lt. Bill Price, support commander.
Walton County Commission Chairman Kenneth Pridgen, who had participated in the assessment process, told Sunday, “I commend you and your staff for the job you are doing. We sure appreciate you all.”
“Congratulations,” echoed District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander.