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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Press Release
May 13, 2016
For More Information
Contact: Communications
(850) 488–0420

FDC Staff Become First in the Nation to Earn Mental Health Certification

TALLAHASSEE – Fifty-five members of the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) have become the first in the nation to earn the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) Correctional Behavioral Health Certification (CBHC). The CBHC is the first nationally standardized behavioral-health certification in the United States that requires candidates to pass a rigorous written exam.

Secretary Julie Jones said, “While Florida’s total inmate population grew 57 percent between 1996 and 2013, the population of mentally ill inmates grew 153 percent. Our growing population of mentally ill inmates makes training critically important to the successful rehabilitation of these individuals. The Correctional Behavioral Health Certification is an important tool for improving outcomes for both our officers and those receiving behavioral-health treatment in Florida’s correctional institutions. I am proud to have Florida become the first state in the nation to have staff successfully complete the CBHC program and earn this important certification”

In December 2015, ACA staff traveled to Florida to provide specialized training for 55 members of the Department’s institutional and community corrections leadership. The candidates took the exam in mid-January and the results were delivered to FDC on January 20, 2016. All 55 candidates passed and earned the Correctional Behavioral Health Certification, becoming the first in the nation to do so.

Through FDC’s partnership with ACA, the certification will be made available to 400 correctional staff involved with the care and custody of mentally ill inmates.

Click here to see the article from the ACA’s magazine, Corrections Today, detailing Florida’s experience


As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 98,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.

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