New prison to be built in Jenkins Co. creates jobs

By: Melissa Tune Email
By: Melissa Tune Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock, September 16, 2010

MILLEN,Ga.- Governor Perdue announced today that CCA, the nation's leader in partnership corrections, has been awarded a contract by the Georgia Department of Corrections to manage up to 1,150 male inmates in the CCA Jenkins Correctional Center, which will be designed, constructed, owned and operated by CCA on property currently owned by the company in Millen.

"This is yet another great example of public-private partnerships in Georgia," said Governor Perdue. "By partnering with CCA, Jenkins County will see a positive economic impact that will include up to 200 full-time jobs."

CCA anticipates beginning construction of the $56.8 million prison in approximately three months and expects to be ready to receive the first Georgia inmates in the first quarter of 2012. CCA already has a strong presence in the state of Georgia, operating a total of five prisons and detention centers, employing approximately 1,500 corrections professionals with about $54 million annual payroll and paying nearly $8 million in property taxes and utilities annually.

"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. "We are proud to currently own and operate two prisons in Georgia for the state and greatly value being entrusted with an expanded partnership that allows us to build and operate the CCA Jenkins Correctional Center."

"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.

In addition to owning and operating the Wheeler Correctional Facility in Alamo and the Coffee Correctional Facility in Nicholls for Georgia, CCA owns and operates the McRae Correctional Facility in McRae on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. For Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CCA owns and operates the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin and operates the North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville. Collectively, CCA is responsible for more than 7,000 inmates and detainees in Georgia.

CCA has named Flintco as the national contractor for this project and is working with the architectural firm, DLR Group.

The news is all the buzz in Millen on Thursday. Hundreds of jobs are on the way to the little town that's been looking for something to bring down the unemployment rate and boost the economy.

"Four to five hunderd construction jobs are coming and we have never had a job in this county that had that many construction workers on it and that's of a big magnitude," said King Rocker, Millen's Mayor.

The addition of the private prison is expected to help boost businesses and lower the unemployment rate.

"It's a forty million dollar investment now and when it maxes out, it will be 140 million," added Rocker.

House District 157 Congressman John Burns was on hand at the event.

"We want industry, we want employment we want jobs," said Burns. "We need jobs,there's no doubt this community and this county needs jobs."

What's needed are jobs that will put people back in the workforce. Saul Jones' sister in-law worked at another plant before it closed.

"We need jobs down here," said Jones."It sure will be a big help down here in Millen,Georgia."

Downtown businesses like "Emmalines Eats and Sweets" at 615 Cotton Avenue in downtown Millen will certainly benefit. It is located about three miles from where the prison will be. Owner Emily Williams is hoping it will bring new life and energy to her hometown.

"It's finally here, it's finally here," said owner Emily Williams."People are just jumping up and down about it. This community has just been hurting so bad for jobs and to know that people finally have an opportunity to get some."

Empty buildings are all over Millen because many businesses have packed up and left town. Over the past ten years at least four businesses have closed, but the people in Millen are hoping this time around will be different.

At least 200 permanent jobs will remain after the prison is built which means long-term growth in the economy. CCA anticipates beginning construction of the prison in the next three months. They also expect to be ready for the first Georgia inmates in the first quarter of 2012.


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