American Jail Association Awards FCSO Detention Facility with 2023 Innovation Award

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Tuesday May 23, 2023 Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility was awarded the 2023 Innovation award for medium-sized facilities by the America Jail Association. Sheriff Staly and some of the FCSO Detention Staff attended the AJA\s 42nd Conference and Jail Expo in Omaha Nebraska, where they received the award during the awards banquet.

This was a 5-day conference where detention staff were able to learn about practices and developments regarding corrections. There were workshops and networking opportunities allowing staff to share experiences and knowledge. The training that was provided by the AJA Conference was a federal grant requirement for the FCSO, and all the costs of the training were paid for by the federal grant and inmate welfare fund, meaning no local tax dollars were used for the training.

“This is a huge honor for our detention team, FCSO, and the community to be recognized and selected as a model for jails across the country to emulate,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “I commend Chief Engert and his team for taking my vision for detention services and implementing an award-winning detention facility. Our inmates are taking advantage of our programs to turn their lives around to become productive citizens in the community. Many inmates have told me how grateful they are for our programs and are committed to turning their life around, which is our goal. I also want to thank our community partners. Without them, this would not have been possible.”

The AJA Innovation Award is given to facilities who show their innovative and progressive approach to better the industry as a whole. Three Innovation Awards are given out every year, one for large facilities (1,000+ beds) medium facilities (100-999 beds) and small facilities (under 100 beds). In order to be chosen for this award, the facilities must demonstrate their programs make a significant impact on the operations of the jail, as well as hold reasonable prospects that other agencies may implement similar programs.

The Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility (SPHID) spent time enhancing their inmate programming services in 2022. They partnered with Flagler Technical College to start the Homeward Bound Initiative which offers inmates the abilities to take one of the three certificate courses. This provides inmates with job skills, training and certificates that are issued by the Florida Department of Education, along with a GED education.

A 120-hour Vinyl Graphics Application course trains inmates on how to print, cut and apply vinyl graphic designs onto vehicles. Currently the inmates apply all the insignias and reflective markings on the marked FCSO agency vehicles.

An HVAC Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a six-month course that allows inmates to learn the necessary knowledge and skills to get entry level employment in the HVAC field. They learn how to install, service and repair both commercial and residential heating, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. Each graduate of the program has passed the Section 608 test that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires for those wishing to work in the field of HVAC.

A Food Service Management/culinary course is also a 120-hour course by learning from a professional chef who works at Beachfront Grille in Flagler Beach. They learn the basic culinary skills, food preparation, meal preparation, and they earn the ServSafe Food Service Manager Certification, which is accredited by American National Standards Institute (ANSI)- Conference for Food Protection (CFP) and the National Restaurant Association.

The Homeward Bound Program’s goal is to provide inmates with skills and training, the SMART program (Successful Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Treatment) was put into place to help provide services to those who may suffer substance abuse disorders and mental illnesses. SMART is a 90 day in-custody treatment program that collaborates with EPIC Behavioral Healthcare to help inmates stay successful once released back into the community.

SMART uses evidence-based therapy curriculums, that leads sessions that are led by Intervention Specialists and Certified Peer Support Specialists to help inmates stay focused on bettering themselves and helping each other during their incarceration. SMART helps inmates to learn more about their disorders, helps them learn about their triggers, and help create a post-release recovery plan.  The goal behind this program is to treat and prevent the actions that would land them back in jail.

A recent SMART graduate stated during her graduation, “When you offer your inmates – or individuals – substance abuse treatment, mental health therapy, social skills, and job training skills, we are given opportunities of hope and healing. You are not only helping us heal and strengthen ourselves as individuals but also helping to heal and strengthen the community.”


By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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