Local Jail Passes Rigorous Inspection

Law enforcement at a local jail just earned a perfect score.

Inspected from top to bottom, inside and out, the Taylor County Jail passed an accreditation inspection with flying colors with a perfect 100.

The Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission checked for locked cabinets, cracked floors, hygiene practices and other policies that affect the well being of employees and inmates.

Amanda Sturgill, a Taylor County Jail inmate, said, "I think it's nice that they can keep it up to date and they keep up with food and a shelter over our head."

Kimberly Hockaday, another Taylor County Jail inmate, said, "I hear all the stuff on the news about people being killed in other facilities and raped and getting pregnant while you're in jail. I'm glad none of that happens over here."

The accreditation manager says the accreditation committee was most impressed with the security at the Taylor County Jail, in particular, the key management system.

Accreditation Manager Kathy Bell said, "We want the people that have to be here to stay here. We also want to ensure their safety as well, as the staff's safety. We have a very good system in place for ensuring that no keys are misplaced or unaccounted for."

Being fully accredited strengthens the facility's defense against lawsuits, enhances public credibility, and establishes measurable criteria for programs, personnel and physical upgrades among other benefits.

Taylor County Sheriff L.E. "Bummy" Williams said, "This is a new program for all of us. I think it's a win-win situation for everybody, the community, the jail staff."

The Taylor County Jail is the smallest jail in Florida with accreditation. It also has the smallest operating budget at just $2 million.

The sheriff says this is the first time the department has earned full accreditation.