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FDC Achieves First APA Accredited Residency Program

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) has become the first correctional agency in the nation to have a Psychology Residency Program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA Commission on Accreditation made this decision at a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., and the program’s accreditation status was granted for a period of 10 years, the maximum allowed by the APA. The Department is now the only state or federal correctional agency in the country to have an APA accredited residency.

Secretary Mark lnch said, “Accreditation by the American Psychological Association is a hallmark accomplishment and will result in attracting the best and brightest candidates who are interested in pursuing a career in correctional psychology. We are proud of our team who has been involved with the residency program and its success in becoming the first of its kind in the United States.”

The residency program is supervised out of the Department’s central office with operations at three facilities serving mentally ill inmate populations. Chief of Mental Health Services Dr. Dean Aufderheide started the residency in 2012, building on an established internship program which is one of only two APA accredited internships in a state prison system.

“Confronting the shortage of psychologists, our goal was to train and retain highly competent correctional psychologists,” said Dr. Aufderheide. “The creation of the residency program and accreditation by the APA was the next logical step in our vision to create a center of excellence for correctional psychology.”

Nationwide there are fewer than 150 APA accredited residency programs, with most found within the Veteran Affairs system.

As the third largest state prison system in the country, FDC is a respected national leader in corrections. Health Services is an integral and constitutionally required element of the Department’s services, and is responsible for the physical and mental health care of 96,000 inmates.

The American Psychological Association is the largest association of psychologists in the world. APA’s membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.


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