Here is some more information on the Georgia facility Indian Cycle mentioned.
Comments by Brian Owen (Executive Assistant to DOC Commissioner James Donald), Ralph Kemp (Warden) and Wheeler employee on the possible close of a Georgia facility:
Owens: Many discussions are left to be held, he said, before a final decision is made. "This is a worst-case scenario". "It's way too early for anyone to be concerned. I'm cautiously optimistic we can avoid it."
Kemp said he was informed via e-mail two weeks ago that budget plans called for closing one private prison, which could be either Wheeler, another CCA prison in Coffee County or a prison in Folkston owned by Cornell Corp.
Kemp argues that the state shouldn't close any prison, even the one owned by CCA's competitor. "All of these prisons are in small, rural communities," Kemp said. "It's going to have a tremendous economic impact."
The idea of closing a private prison, Owens said, bears no reflection on the performance of private prisons.
A state monitor is at the prison full-time to make sure all regulations are being followed, Kemp said. He also noted that the prison has not had escapes or serious assaults. "All we've had are a few fights," he said. "I would put our facility up against any in the state.
"We fought a long time to get this prison here, not to have to go outside the county to work," said Tina Hodge, a quality assurance manager at the prison, whose husband also works there. "I can see the economic impact on several local businesses."
She and her husband worked in the state prison system, and she said they like working in a private prison better. "It's like one big family," Hodge said. "The state doesn't have that camaraderie-type atmosphere."