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Pre-release center staying open for now

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POSTED: August 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo by Mike Riddle/

Bobby Rowland, superintendent of the Long County Pre-Release Center speaks at a meeting earlier this year.

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Talk throughout Long County about the close of the Long Pre-Release Center appears to be nothing more than rumors.
“I have heard those rumors too, but no official word has been put out closing our center,” said LPRC Superintendent Bobby Rowland.
He said his supervisor, Smith State Prison Warden Don Jarriel, also had heard the gossip, but didn’t put much stock in it.
“Warden Jarriel told me the same thing — that he had heard the rumors, but nothing had been put out officially regarding that,” Rowland said.
Rumors the center would be closing came on the heels of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s recent orders to each of the state departments to cut six percent from their budgets.
According to reports, the state had anticipated a projected growth in revenue of five percent for the 2008-09 fiscal year, but the growth did not take place. As a result, each department, including the Georgia Department of Corrections, was ordered to cut.
Rowland was required to submit a pared-down budget, but he said the cuts did not affect any jobs at the LPRC.
“We have 57 jobs at the center, and we didn’t cut any of them. For that matter, we are interviewing and filling three correctional officer positions and one sergeant position now,” Rowland said.
Rowland also quieted rumors about reducing the number of prisoners being held at the center by transferring them to Smith State.
“That’s incorrect and just another rumor. We are continuing to do business as usual, completing our mission of preserving a safe and efficient facility and continuing to protect the public,” Rowland said.
The center houses 196 prisoners, who are being prepared for reintroduction into society. The center offers job training in barbering, food service, warehouse supply, and commercial driver’s licenses.
It also offers vocational training from Middle Georgia and Altamaha technical colleges.
It has been open for three years.
 

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