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About the Sheriff

Morris A. Young, Sheriff
Gadsden County, Florida
339 East Jefferson Street
Quincy, Florida , 32351 
Email: gcso@tds.net
Phone: (850) 627-9233
For Emergencies Call 911

About the Sheriff

Sheriff Morris A. Young

Morris A. Young has served as the sheriff of Gadsden CountyFlorida since 2004. He attended James A. Shanks High School and the Institute of Police Technology and Management at Chipola Jr. College. Morris Young was a part of the Quincy Police Department for 11 years, where he served as a patrolman, a patrol sergeant and as a member of the narcotics task force.[5] In 1999, Young began working for the Sheriff’s Office as a school-resource officer and also worked on patrol and investigations.[5]

In 2000, Morris Young ran for sheriff of Gadsden County and lost to incumbent Sheriff W.A. Woodham, who had held the office since 1971. Young ran again after Woodham retired, and became the sheriff of Gadsden County in 2004, making him the second black sheriff in Florida history, and the first in Gadsden county, despite the fact that the majority of residents in the county are African American.[6][7][8] He soon hired Chaplain Jimmy Salters to help create a reintegration program in the Gadsden County Jail which involves the larger church community and is based on faith, including the baptism of willing inmates.[9] Young has said he believes that it’s important to appeal to the spiritual side of offenders, as opposed to focusing on purely punitive actions that lock away inmates for long periods of time without any type of help to prevent recidivism.[9] Under his watch, Judge Kathy L. Garner, the county’s first black female judge, hears all juvenile cases in her jurisdiction.[9]Young was re-elected in 2012 with 89 percent of the vote.[5]

In 2016, The New York Times profiled his work, and discussed how his programs have reduced crime and recidivism rates in Gadsden County.[9]In 2018, Young worked to train churches on how to respond to active shooters after a shooting occurred at a Texas church.[17][18]In July 2018, he was featured in The Guardian as “The radical sheriff giving offenders a chance.” The Guardian highlighted that since Young became sheriff in 2004, crime in Gadsden was about half of what it was when he obtained office, with juvenile arrests down by over 75%, and Gadsden county was sending 65% fewer inmates to state prison.[6] Young credits daily coaching programs for children with incarcerated parents, helping inmates gain job skills, helping find employment opportunities for people after they’ve served time, and asking officials and deputies to focus on serious or violent crimes as opposed to locking people up for long periods due to drug possession or other low level offenses.[6] He also worked with the local school superintendent, Reginald C. James, to establish an alternative school for children who are running into trouble with the law, which increased local graduation rates from 40% to 65% in 2016.[9]As of 2018, he was the longest serving African American sheriff in Florida.[17]