Long State Prison recognized its 10th anniversary with a ceremony Tuesday. Counselor Mike Mourand welcomed around 30 people from around the region, with inmate Larry Robbins then leading all in singing the national anthem. Following Robbins’ performance, inmates Randall Martin, Kwame McDowell, Alvin Sutherland, Lesley Farmer and Ryant Russell sang harmony songs.
Warden Jose Morales presented several local supporters with certificates of appreciation for their contributions to the prison. Montgomery State Prison Warden Tamala Brown, Hinesville Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier, Smith State Prison Warden Stanley Williams, Hinesville Police Department Capt. Johnetta Reid and interim Ludowici Police Chief James Steiner received certificates.
During his presentation, Chief of Security Lt. Roderick Clanton said the prison is a medium-security facility that can house up to 232 men. He said that during its 10-year history, it has had four different missions, beginning as a holding facility for any person deemed a threat during the Sea Island G-8 Summit in 2004. He said that in 2005, it became the Long Inmate Boot Camp and had a strong military regiment for its prisoners. The goal at that time was to assist in rehabilitating substance abusers and provide public service.
Clanton said the facility’s mission changed in 2006 as it became the Long Pre-Release Center. During that time, the prison population consisted of men who had two or fewer years to serve, with the goal of preparing them to re-enter society as productive citizens.
Clanton said that in October 2008 the facility became what it currently is. The prison also houses inmates who might be in danger in other prisons. He said that currently, the prison houses 51 protective-custody inmates.
He said that the prison also provides 11 work details to surrounding counties and a firefighting team that responds to emergency calls in Long and Wayne counties. The firefighting team, which began in 2008, responds to about 100 calls annually. Every firefighter on the team is nationally certified and qualified to respond to fires, wrecks and first-aid calls. The team works locally with the Ludowici/Long County Fire Department.
Clanton said that having the firefighting team saves local taxpayers money because hiring additional firefighters is not necessary.
Following Clanton, former warden Tamala Brown addressed the group, saying that she enjoyed her time at the prison and appreciated her supporting staff.
Clanton said that the chief staff members at the facility are himself, back gate/detail Sgt. Jeff Horton and Morales.
“This is one of the best-kept secrets in the state. If you ever had to be a warden, this is the place to be,” Brown said.
After Brown concluded, Horton presented his former boss with flowers on behalf of all of the employees who served under her.
Frasier said he supports the prison because it played such a big part in helping inmates transition into productive members of the community. He said that it is crucial for inmates to know that with hard work and the right attitude, they can become successful once their incarceration ends.
Morales then told the group that he has an outstanding staff at the facility and he appreciates all of their support. He also said that Horton has served with the Department of Corrections for 31 years and in honor of his service, Morales plans to ask the DoC for permission to name the prison fire team after him.