Okaloosa Department of Corrections earns accreditation


Members of the Okaloosa County Department of Corrections received health accreditation for 2012. Attendees at the presentation of the certificate are (left to right) Regional Director Colleen Meringolo, Unit Clerk Victor Leyendecker, LPN Stephanie Hughes, Administrative Assistant Sheree Seymour, Director of Nursing Tamara Taylor, Health Services Administrator Susan Priddy, Chief Corrections Officer Paul Lawson, Mental Health Counselor Michaelle Lacon-Frelix and Co. Administrator Jim Curry.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The Okaloosa County Department of Corrections has earned accreditation from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care for 2012. Commission accreditation is a voluntary program established to further health care quality in jails, prisons and juvenile facilities.

“County inmate care has its own set of challenges in healthcare and accreditation is not easy to achieve – with the help of Corizon Health Inc., we’ve managed to maintain accreditation since 2004,” Chief Correctional Officer Paul Lawson said. “Furthermore, adhering to these accreditation standards helps protect Okaloosa County from frivolous litigation from inmates who might allege substandard treatment while incarcerated that could result in large settlement costs.”

Representing a consortium of major national organizations in the fields of medicine, law and corrections, the national commission has developed an extensive set of standards for detention facilities, ensuring those achieving accreditations provide the highest quality and most efficient health care programs, a department spokesperson said.

Corizon Health Inc., is under contract with the Okaloosa County Commission to provide 24-hour-a-day comprehensive dental, medical and mental health services to the approximately 750 inmates housed in the county’s correction facility.

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