ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - On June 24, 2014, Alachua County Pretrial Services was recognized by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC) for receiving its second Certificate of Re-Accreditation. Alachua County Pretrial Services received its initial Accreditation Certificate on February 19, 2008. Alachua County Pretrial Services was the first non-sworn Pretrial agency in the United States to achieve accreditation status and has maintained pretrial accreditation compliance longer than any other pretrial agency in the United States.
Accredited programs are recognized as 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. Alachua County’s Pretrial Services is one of only six pretrial programs in Florida that has met the rigorous accreditation pretrial standards. The accreditation review covers six sections: Personnel Practices, Organization and Management, General Principles Governing the Pretrial Process, First Appearance, Release Conditions, and Electronic Monitoring. The accreditation program evaluates the agency against standards developed by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, the Association of Pretrial Professionals of Florida (APPF) and the National Association of Pretrial Service Agencies (NAPSA). These standards employ evidence based practices that have been determined to achieve the best results to ensure pretrial defendants appear of all their scheduled Court events while addressing public safety.
The benefits of being an accredited agency are many, including but not limited to:
· Standards reinforce the legislative intent of (FS 907.042)
· Increases judicial confidence in use of pretrial release program by providing standardized accurate information for release/detention decisions
· Increases uniformity within community supervision programs with reciprocal increase in public safety
· Increases interagency information sharing
· Increases integrity of criminal justice process and the agency’s role
· Potential reduction in agency liability from lawsuits
· Allows for independent verification of business practices, which increase pretrial agency accountability
· Standards foster education resulting in improvements for all parties (defendant, agency, public)
· Accreditation program may foster program expansion due to increased recognition and credibility
· Ensures policies and procedures are documented in writing and defendable
It is the expectation of the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission that each accredited agency will maintain full compliance and live by the letter and spirit of every standard. The commission expects each accredited agency to operate in compliance with their written directives.
For more information, contact Pretrial Services Supervisor, Jeff Kilpatrick at 352-338-7338.