Pelham Pre-Release Center to shut down - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pelham Pre-Release Center to shut down

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

November 5, 2008

PELHAM, GA (WALB) - State budget cuts are continuing to hit local agencies hard.

Today the Georgia Department of Corrections announced that the Pre-Release Center in Pelham is shutting down this Friday but they say all employees will be taken care of.

Staff workers at this Pre-Release Center are packing and sorting, getting ready for their move to work at a new location.

"These staff will be offered a position at the Autry State Prison. So that will benefit us at the prison as well as keep them in a job," says Warden Terry Duffey.

45 people work at the PRC, and Warden Duffey says employees will be taken care of at the prison. It's located only 4 miles down the road...keeping jobs in Pelham.

"It's an excellent opportunity for a lot of reasons. This facility houses 160 offenders. It's really not cost effective in the long run to manage this type of operation for no more offenders than that," says the Warden.

State budget cuts forced the Georgia Department of Corrections to find ways to save money and the Warden says this shutdown makes sense.

"We can take these 160 offenders, redistribute them throughout the system, and shut this place down at a definite savings of over 2 million dollars a year," says the Warden.

But what about the building itself?

"Plans are in negotiations to lease this building out to the city of Pelham," says Warden Duffey.

The city manager and the Police Chief are meeting with the state in a few weeks to see about taking over the building. Nothing is set in stone but they say they want to transform it into a new facility of some kind to create hundreds of new jobs for the area.

Pre-Release centers are used to help inmates with two years or less to serve, be prepared to re-enter the world and work force.

The inmates will still receive these services...they will be transported to other centers in Georgia. Feedback