LUDOWICI -- According to information provided by the Georgia Department of Corrections, Wayne State Prison in Odum will be moved to Long County.
The 200-bed prison will cease operations in October, and be realigned to use the facility in Ludowici, which currently is operating as the Long Pre-Release Center.
The prison facilities in Odum are nearly 40 years old, and in 2007 it was identified as a “non-enduring” facility, primarily because of the age of the prison and its physical condition. As a result of this, for the prison to continue to exist, an estimated $1.3 million worth of repairs would have to be completed.
According to the GDOC, if these repairs were completed, and with other required costs to the center, the estimated cost to house one inmate would be just under $50 per day. The three year old facility in Ludowici, which has 192 beds, only cost $38 dollars per day to house inmates, so the move is being made as a result of finances.
The estimated budget for the WSP, after repairs would be $3.6 million dollars per year, compared with a $2.4 million dollar estimated budget for the facility in Ludowici.
According to the GDOC, the current staff and inmates, at the Long Pre-Release Center will be moved to a new 256-bed Fast Track housing unit at Smith State Prison in Glenville.
According to a July 29th 2008 GDOC news release, the WSP holds 195 inmates, and has a staff of 72. The inmates are medium security male offenders.
The proposed name of the new prison in Ludowici was not known at the time of this story.
Long Pre-Release Center, Superintendent, Bobby Rowland was contacted regarding a statement on the proposed change, but said he was unable to release any information at this time. In addition to this, the Wayne State Prison was contacted, for additional information, but the person refused to give his name, and said he could not release any information.
Recently the Long County Commissioners discussed the possibility of assuming the facilities as a jail for Long County, but decided not to pursue the endeavor, due to the annual operating expenses being too high for the county to maintain.