The Bulloch County Correctional Institute was named best in the state during a recent awards ceremony hosted by the Georgia Department of Corrections.
The GDC honored the work camp as the 2015 County Facility of the Year at the 12th annual GDC Awards ceremony held June 9 at the GDC Headquarters in Forsyth, said Joan Heath, director of public affairs. Warden Chris Hill and BCCI staff accepted the award.
“In 2015, Bulloch County CI received high scores on a variety of GDC report card items to include internal and external audits,” said Georgia DOC Commissioner Homer Bryson. “Additionally, Bulloch has reduced operating costs and turnover rates while maintaining a level of integrity, safety and sanitation that all facilities should strive for.”
This is the second time in 10 years the facility has received the award, said Deputy Warden Wayne “Bubba” Smith.
“Bulloch County Correctional Institute has been an asset to Bulloch County for 69 years,” Smith said.
About 80 percent of BCCI’s population work outside five days a week on one of 46 work details that “supplement the Bulloch County workforce” by helping with the Department of Transportation, solid waste collection, recycling, and road, vehicle and equipment maintenance, he said.
While incarcerated, “inmates receive programs, job skills, religious services and educational opportunities that assist in their rehabilitation to become productive members of society upon their release,” Smith said.
Keeping the BCCI secure and controlling and preventing contraband is also part of the facility’s daily operation, he said.
“Diligent work between administration and the (Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office) has deterred disruptive behavior with a zero-tolerance policy concerning cellphones, drugs, tobacco and physical assaults,” he said, adding that there were 32 warrants issued to inmates in violation of these laws in 2015.
Smith said the staff is proud of the award.
“BCCI has never received any major negative findings during internal or external audits, has consistently maintained a 95 percent bed utilization rate and has a low turnover of staff and high morale of staff and offenders,” he said.
The BBCI, located next to the Bulloch County Jail on Highway 301 North, is a medium-security facility that can house up to 183 male offenders.