DECATUR CO., GA (WALB) - A recent decision to lay off several Decatur county prison guards and return 100 inmates back to the state may provide some relief to taxpayers' wallets.
By the end of June, 10 prison guards will be out of a job, as new calculations show the county prison is losing more than $2 million a year.
Decatur County Commissioner Pete Stephens said, “We were very surprised. I think we were all shocked, that's a better word.”
So shocked by the number that Prison Warden Elijah McCoy knew he had to make efficient, cost-saving plans.
Warden McCoy said, “It's really tough to go in and tell someone that they're losing their job. That's their livelihood. These people take care of their families and they pay the bills.”
Along with the layoffs, nearly 100 prisoners will be transported back to the state.
Those inmates cost the county $13 dollars each per day.
“When you have roughly $13 a day lost times roughly 100 inmates, you're talking about $1300 a day that the taxpayers are losing,” said Warden McCoy.
Warden McCoy said the biggest reason to return the inmates back to the state is to meet his goal of getting 200 inmates out every day on work details.
They will keep inmates who are able to work the details in order to keep the county looking its best, while also saving close to $500,000 dollars a year.
Stephens said, ”It's bittersweet in that I hate to see anybody lose a job, but we have to look out for the taxpayers of the county. It's about the dollars; it's about the tax dollars being saved.”
McCoy said he's currently working with department heads in the county to help laid off workers find new jobs.