Prison will hold close to 3,000 inmates after expansion - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Prison will hold close to 3,000 inmates after expansion

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

NICHOLLS, GA (WALB) –The small town of Nicholls is now home to one of the largest prisons in Georgia.

Thursday officials cut the ribbon on a 31-million dollar expansion at the Coffee Correctional Facility that's bringing new jobs to the area.

From the outside it looks like a prison but once you step behind the gates, you enter into another world.

Coffee Correctional Facility is one of two prisons undergoing a 31 million dollar expansion, which was granted by the state to help take care of the excess inmates.

"With the expansion we expect to go over consistently 2,700 inmates which for the state of Georgia will be the largest prison in the state of Georgia, said Warden Barry Goodrich.

So they added two more buildings to the prison, which will each hold 434 inmates from all over the state of Georgia in a dorm like setting. "The buildings are self contained which means the inmates do not have to come into the existing facility expect to eat and do the recreation activities in the yard," said Goodrich.

But staff members say the facility is more than just a place to house inmates. "We offer classes computer classes, GED and vocational classes such as masonry, horticulture, carpentry," said Goodrich.

They also have onsite dentists and nurses, a library, church, counseling, a gymnasium, and classrooms.

"They will get up and whatever they are slated to do like go to school to go to recreation job assignment they will do that," said Goodrich.

But to take care of almost 3,000 inmates more staff is needed. They increased their staff by 100 and are still in the process of hiring new help.

"Being locked up you are going to have bad days so we need to have people trained to deal with these people who have bad days," said Human Resources Manager Evelyn Sellers.

After the expansion is complete, officials expect to have 384 employees.

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