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Florida Model Jail Standards

What is FMJS?

The Florida Model Jail Standards are minimum standards which jails across Florida must meet to ensure the constitutional rights of those incarcerated are upheld. Prior to 1996, the Florida Department of Corrections was responsible for the standards and inspection process for local county jails. Legislation was passed in 1996 that gave the authority of inspections to the local level. This change required the Florida Sheriffs Association and Florida Association of Counties to appoint individuals to serve on a Committee that would govern standards that local jails must comply with. 

The Florida Model Jail Standards Committee has three representatives appointed by the Florida Sheriffs Association and two appointed by the Florida Association of Counties. Florida Sheriffs Association provides support to the FMJS Committee; however the FMJS Committee is a separate entity. Committee members serve two-year terms and elect a chair. The goal of the FMJS Committee is to develop and continually enforce model standards adopted by the group. There are five subcommittees each having distinct missions and objectives:

  • Quality Assurance & Improvement: The mission of the Quality Assurance and Improvement (QAI) Subcommittee is to monitor and review the status of the Florida Model Jail Standards Program and it effectiveness. The QAI Subcommittee will review overall training for Jail and Medical Certification, Jail and Medical Recertification, the certification and recertification testing development process, review model jail policies, survey jails safety programs, survey jail risk management programs, monitor Inspectors' participation in the inspection process and agency compliance. The goal of the QAI Subcommittee will be to work toward continuous compliance with F.S.S 951.23, the oversight and direction of the FMJS Full Committee, and to collaborate continuously with the development of FMJS program, and with the other FMJS Subcommittees.
  • Standards Review Subcommittee: The mission of the Standards Subcommittee is to maintain a professional manual consistent with the most current practices in the corrections industry for adult and youth detention facilities.
  • Medical Subcommittee: The mission of the Medical Subcommittee is to foster the effectiveness of the medical care and health of individuals incarcerated in county detention facilities. This is accomplished through oversight and development of the medical and pharmaceutical standards which ensure the FMJS and suggested revisions meet current acceptable standards of medical care.
  • Compliance Review Subcommittee: The mission of the Compliance Review Subcommittee is to objectively conduct reasonable reviews of facility inspection results. The goal is to remain unbiased while reviewing facility grievances and to present clear and concise evidence to the full FMJS Committee. This Subcommittee also hears facility inspection appeals.
  • Training Subcommittee: The mission of the Training Subcommittee is to establish a training curriculum for the Jail Inspectors and Jail Medical Inspectors certification program. The Training Subcommittee members are the instructors, trainers and evaluators for the Jail and Jail Medical courses. 
  • PREA Subcommittee: The goal of the PREA Subcommittee is adopt a set of minimum model jails standards as required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA). These standards will aid in the prevention, detection and response to prison rape. The PREA Subcommittee will begin by completing a thorough review of the federal requirements and then will recommend which standards to include in the FMJS. The subcommittee will take into consideration inmate protection and local budgetary constraints. In addition, the PREA Subcommittee will coordinate with other FMJS Committees to determine the most efficient and effective way to integrate PREA standards into FMJS.

Jails can also seek accreditation by a state or national level accrediting agency. Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards. The accreditation process is rigorous; however, it offers Sheriffs’ Offices “best practices,” allows them to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and reduce liabilities within jails.

Training, Inspections and More

The Florida Model Jail Standards

Have a recommendation?

Submit changes to the Florida Model Jail Standards by using the FMJS Revision Form (Word file). Once complete, forward to Standards Review Subcommittee Chair Sergeant Brian Weddle: brian.weddle@lcso.org

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