MILLEN- After an announcement by Gov. Sonny Perdue last week, local officials in Millen detailed plans to begin construction of a new correctional center in Jenkins County. The jail is expected to bring more than 200 jobs to the area by 2012.
The Georgia Department of Corrections awarded a contract to the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest manager of correction institutions and the company will manage up to 1,150 male inmates in a new Jenkins Correctional Center, according to the press release issued from Perdue's office. Perdue said in the release, "This is yet another great example of public-private partnerships in Georgia. By partnering with CCA, Jenkins County will see a positive economic impact."
Millen Mayor King Rocker said the state doesn't build prisons anymore. Instead, they contract to a private owner, like the CCA, he said.
The Jenkins Correctional facility will be designed, constructed, owned and operated by CCA on property currently owned by the company in Millen.
Rocker said construction will ensue with a $56.8 million investment, but over time, expansion is expected to enlarge that investment to more than $150 million. The anticipated 1,124 beds would, in that case, expand to 2,500 beds, he said, and 250-300 full-time jobs would increase to about 400.
With a start date about three months away, Rocker said construction should last about 15 months, bringing an additional 400 jobs in construction to the area for its duration.
"For more than 12 years, CCA and the State of Georgia have worked in close partnership as CCA has provided safe, secure corrections management solutions that save hardworking taxpayers' dollars," said Damon Hininger, CCA president and chief executive officer.
Operating a total of five prisons and detention centers in Georgia already, CCA employs approximately 1,500 corrections professionals, generating a $54 million annual payroll and nearly $8 million in property taxes and utilities each year.
"We are so very grateful to the residents, business and civic leaders and the elected officials in Millen and all of Jenkins County for showing us such an outpouring of support over the past months, when CCA was in the process of proposing that Georgia build and operate a prison on our Millen property, " said Tony Grande, CCA executive vice president and chief development officer.
CCA has operated prisons as a partner to federal, state and local government for more than 25 years, according to the company's website www.correctionscorp.com.
In Georgia CCA already owns and operates the Wheeler Correction Facility in Alamo and the Coffee Correctional Facility in Nicholls.
On behalf of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, CCA owns and operates the McRae Correctional Facility, for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, owns and operates the Steward Detention Center in Lumpkin, and operates the North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville.
For the Jenkins project, CCA has named Flintco as the national contractor and is working with the architectural firm, DLR Group.