Ga. corrections has cut over 1,500 jobs in 2 years

Facilities have been closed and jobs lost to save $65 million

Corrections1 staff

Over the course of the last two years, Georgia's Department of Corrections has cut 1,550 jobs from the prison system, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Ledger-Enquirer are reporting.

Georgia Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens said the jobs were lost through attrition as the department closed facilities in an attempt to save money.

Owens, appearing before a joint meeting of the House and Senate budget committees, said the job cuts will save the 57,000-inmate system $65 million.

Claiming that - after decades of growth - the state prison system is leveling out, Owens said the state will shut down three more prisons this year. Including the Scott State Prison in Milledgeville that was shut last August, this brings the state to a combined loss of 3,500 inmate beds.

Some lawmakers are concerned that these cutbacks will hurt small-town Georgia. During the meeting, they pleaded with Owens to consider the rural economic impact when deciding whether to close facilities.

And yet, after the meeting Owens told reporters, "This is the 21st century. It is the taxpayers’ money. It ought to be a business decision."

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