The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) currently has contracts with two private prison companies to house 5,376 offenders.
In 1997, through a bid process, GDC entered into contracts with Cornell Companies, Inc. to build and operate D. Ray James prison in Folkston, and with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to build and operate private prisons in Alamo (Wheeler Correctional Facility) and in Nicholls (Coffee Correctional Facility). All three facilities opened in the fall of 1998 and have been a part of the corrections continuum in Georgia since that time.
Georgia's two private prisons are accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and by the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) as required by contract. GDC has a full-time Private Prison Monitor on site at each private facility overseeing the facility's operations to ensure that all contract conditions are met and that the facility operates with a continuous focus on sanitation, safety and security. Just as in GDC facilities, offenders work on full time details and are afforded the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of educational classes and counseling programs.