Georgia Department of Corrections
James E. Donald, Commissioner
Director of Public Affairs
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (404) 656-9772
For Immediate Release
Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Corrections announced today the 200-bed Homerville State Prison in Homerville, Georgia will cease operations effective March of this year. The Department simultaneously announced that these resources will be realigned utilizing one of seven new 256-bed housing units, or “Fast Track” beds soon to be opening at Valdosta State Prison in Valdosta.
Constructed in 1963, Homerville is a retrofitted school house and was never intended for use as a prison. Identified in the Department’s master plan in 2007 as a “non-enduring” facility due primarily to the age and condition of the physical infrastructure, annual operating costs of this facility exceed $2.5 million annually, or $50 per inmate, per day.
In contrast, the new Fast Track facility opening at Valdosta utilizes state-of-the-art design for operating efficiencies. As a result, the Department plans to move approximately 60 staff members and 200 inmates from Homerville to the more efficient Valdosta facility, realizing an estimated savings of approximately $3 million annually. Homerville’s mission of housing parole violators requiring intensive drug and alcohol treatment will also be a part of the realignment to Valdosta.
To further increase bed capacity in Georgia prisons, additional fast track facilities are scheduled to open this Fall at Macon State Prison, Dooly State Prison and Smith State Prison. In addition to Valdosta, four other fast track facilities will be opening in early Spring at Ware State Prison, Hays State Prison and Coastal State Prison. The Department also has plans to add nearly 1,400 triple-bunk beds to various prisons across the state, ultimately adding approximately 3,000 beds this year.
“We continue to “right size” the Department of Corrections by divesting ourselves of smaller, older, inefficient and expensive facilities,” said Corrections Commissioner James E. Donald. “Our commitment to protecting and serving the citizens of Georgia while being good stewards of public funds remains constant.”
Future plans for the Homerville facility have not yet been determined.The Department of Corrections is the fifth largest prison system in the United States and is responsible for supervising nearly 60,000 state prisoners and over 150,000 probationers. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 15,000 employees.