The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is designated by the National Sheriffs’ Association as a “Triple Crown” agency.
The 20,000 member organization awards “Triple Crown” designations to Sheriff’s Offices which demonstrate outstanding commitment to public safety, security and well-being of jail inmates and efficient business practices. SCSO is one of only 68 Sheriff’s Offices in the United States to have attained this designation.
The “Triple Crown” designation was prompted by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office receiving national accreditation for the Shelby County Jail men’s and women’s facilities, a separate accreditation for the jail’s medical unit, and accreditation for the Sheriff’s Office law enforcement division.
Accreditation certificates for the jail and law enforcement divisions require the Sheriff’s Office to follow hundreds of “best practice” procedures and document those practices in the daily operations of the department.
The men’s jail was first accredited by the American Corrections Association (ACA) in 2006 and the women’s jail was accredited by ACA in 2007. Also in 2007, the jail medical unit was accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). In March of 2008, the law enforcement division of the Sheriff’s Office was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
Accreditation for the Shelby County Jail
In 2006, the men’s division of the Shelby County Jail at 201 Poplar received national accreditation. That was the first time the prestigious designation had been received by the men’s facility since it opened in 1981. The women’s division of the Shelby County Jail received national accreditation in 2007 by the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections (C.A.C.), which is part of the American Correctional Association (A.C.A.). This is the first time the women’s jail has received this prestigious designation since the facility opened in East Memphis in 1999. Additionally, the jail’s medical unit is also accredited by a separate accreditation organization, National Commission on Corrections Healthcare, (N.C.C.H.).
An accreditation standards review team personally visits the jail facilities to examine the policies, procedures and the staff’s knowledge of operations. The accreditation award to both facilities is part of an on-going process. Accreditation inspectors will visit the jail every three years and review policies, procedures and the daily operations to ensure they meet the rigid national accreditation standards.
The Accreditation Office researches, updates and maintains all the Policies and Standard Operating Procedures for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and the Shelby County Jail. The Shelby County Men’s Jail was approved for re-accreditation by the ACA Board in 2009 and the Women’s Jail was approved for re-accreditation in 2010. The Juvenile Detention Center now falls under the umbrella of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office since 2015. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) certification for that facility was awarded in August 2020.
Accreditation for Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Division
In March of 2008, for the first time in the history of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Law Enforcement Division received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
The accreditation certificate was awarded to the Sheriff, members of his command staff and the Sheriff’s Office Accreditation & Policy Bureau at a ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia. The historic milestone was the culmination of almost four years of preparation by employees in the Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement and Administrative Divisions.
In the fall of 2017, examiners with CALEA spent four days visiting various Sheriff’s Office bureaus examining policies, procedures, management practices, operations, and support services. The review team reported their findings to the CALEA Commissioners and it was unanimously voted to reaccredit the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
The accreditation certificate is valid for four years, during which the Sheriff’s Office must submit annual reports to document continued compliance with the 487 law enforcement CALEA standards.
The Training Division and the Communications Division of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office have also received their own accreditation through CALEA and both were approved by the CALEA Commissioners for reaccreditation in March 2020.