SYLVANIA — Screven County’s AMI Kids youth development facility faces possible closing after Georgia’s Office of Budget and Planning proposed to move the center’s 150 youth to a vacant prison facility in Telfair County.
Members of AMI Kids Georgia Corporate Office will be present tonight at a specially called town hall meeting to provide information on how to keep the facility open at its current location, a few miles outside of Sylvania.
The facility, also known as Savannah River Challenge, is not yet closed, said Dorothy Glisson, AMI board member and city registrar, because the board appealed the decision of state officials to move to Telfair.
Closing a facility that provides 150 jobs would be detrimental to the community, Glisson said.
State Rep. Jon Burns and State Sen. Jesse Stone will be present to discuss their support for the appeal, Glisson said.
In addition to the loss of one of Screven’s largest employers, the decision to close the facility disregards the services offered by AMI staff, she said, where youth are incarcerated yet in a dormitory setting with an open wilderness environment.
The Telfair facility is a prison with razor wire on top of fences, she said. Glisson said current AMI students are exposed to Christian ideals and care through the programs provided them. She said she fears what could be lost in character training if the shut down proceeds.
The town hall meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the Cail Center in Sylvania, where concerned citizens are encouraged to attend, listen, ask questions, and provide input.