State prisons house violent or repeat criminals, or nonviolent offenders who have exhausted all other forms of punishment.
Judges may sentence offenders directly to prison or offenders may be sent to prison as a result of revocation proceedings.
Offenders in state prisons have access to classes and other services that allow them to reduce their risk to the community.
Offenders who are able-bodied are also assigned to work details. These details may be connected to the ongoing operation of the facility (such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, or making general repairs around the facility) or specialized, such as:
Approximately 5,000 offenders work on prison farms or in preserving, preparing, and serving foods.
Offender crews serve the construction needs of Corrections, other state agencies, and communities. Carefully supervised, skilled offenders are temporarily housed in nearby facilities while completing approved renovation or remodeling jobs around the state.
Specially selected minimum security offenders may be chosen to work in the prison fire stations responding to prison and rural fire emergencies.
Under supervision, low security offenders build, refurbish, and maintain prison and civic buildings, perform road work, clean public buildings and schools, and work at recycling centers and landfills.
Up to 1,800 offenders are selected to receive on-the-job training in areas such as metal fabrication, optics, printing, license plates, footwear, woodworking, screen printing, upholstery, garment and chemical production.
There are 31 state prisons, three of which are designated for women. Georgia offenders are assigned to a security level after a review of factors such as offender's sentence, nature of the crime, criminal history, and history of violence. Each prison is rated by a security classification system.
The classification levels are:
These offenders are escape risks, have assaultive histories, and may have detainers for other serious crimes on file. (A detainer is a request by another law enforcement agency to hold an offender pending other charges or actions.) These offenders never leave the prison and require supervision at all times by a correctional officer.
This level represents the largest category of offenders. These offenders have no major adjustment problems and most may work outside the prison fence, but must be under constant supervision.
These offenders tend to abide by prison regulations, present a minimal risk of escape, and have been judged to be a minimal threat to the community. Minimum security offenders are eligible for transitional centers.