Prison to provide jobs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Perry County officials along with representatives from Perry Detention Services, LLC. broke ground Tuesday morning on The Perry County Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

The facility, which will take 14 months and $20 million to build, will eventually house 888 inmates and employ 136 people.

The private company providing the investment is listed as Perry County, LLC and is described in a press release as a group of jail architects and builders with offices in Baton Rouge, La. and Clearwater, Fla.

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According to the release, the Perry County Board of Commissioners issued a request for proposals for a private developer to design, build, finance, and assist in management of a new 880 bed adult correctional facility to be built in the county. Proposals were opened on March 23.

Fellow Commissioner Albert Turner added that though the proposals were opened on the 23rd, the process has taken longer than that.

The release also stated that the board has formed a Correctional Authority.

The authority will operate the facility and will be responsible for it’s employees.

Brian Corbett, public information manager with the Alabama Department of Corrections, said the state was aware of the project but not the groundbreaking.

Corbett said the state hasn’t negotiated with Perry County for the use of the facility.

According to documentation released on Tuesday, the 35,000 square foot facility will house 888 inmates and employee 136 people.

The annual payroll is estimated to be over $2.9 million.

Turner said it will help a county whose unemployment is in double figures.

According to the press packet, the facility will employ a warden, a deputy warden, an administrative assistant, a secretary, a mail clerk, a major of security, four captains, 20 lieutenants, 32 sergeants, 68 correctional officers, a registered nurse, four licensed practical nurse and a teacher/library.

The facility will be a rehabilitation center as well.

Inmates are to be taught skills that will help them be able to join the workforce when they leave.

Flowers said the plan was similar to some of the private prisons operated in Louisiana by the same people.

Flowers said the facility could help part of Alabama’s problem with over-crowded prisons.

Last year, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles began issuing &uot;dockets&uot; to give early releases to prisoners.

The facility will be Perry County’s second largest industry, behind the catfish farm and Flowers said the market for the prison was competitive.