Tag Archives: Bainbridge

Decatur County already went from private prison to solar park

Decatur County, that’s turning an industrial park into a solar park; why is that county familiar? Because it’s the other county that thought it was getting a CCA private prison last year!

Decatur County has already moved on from that boondoggle that would have prisoners competing with local workers while not increasing local employment. Decatur County is already well along towards a solar park that could bring “400 hundred thousand a year in tax revenue”. Has our Industrial Authority got anything in negotiations for a solar park? How about our Airport Authority? And what is Georgia Power doing to help?


Industrial park from green grass to a green solar future: Decatur County

Our Industrial Authority is in favor of solar business now; what if they seeded some of their industrial parks with solar panels like Decatur County is doing? They think it will make them look like a progressive county. What do we think?

Ty Wilson wrote for WTXL 7 Dec 2012, A solar park is coming to the Decatur County Industrial Park,

The Decatur County Industrial park will go from having green grass to having a green future.

A Lenexa, Kansas company is building a solar farm at the Decatur County Industrial Park.

The Decatur County Industrial park will go from having green grass to having a green future.

Keith Lyle is the chairman of the Bainbridge Decatur Development Authority, he says, “We are just extremely excited to have this come for the community.”

Decatur County Solar Park in solar Megawatt context And, it’s private investment!

Trade Winds Energy is leasing at least 100 acres to put in solar panels at ten thousand dollars a year.

Company executives says they will invest 17 million dollars into the project.

Lyle says, “This will add from the tax aspect a significant revenue stream. When it is all said and done you are looking at a taxable amount of 40 million is assets. On the project that is 400 hundred thousand a year in tax revenue.”

Trade Wind Energy doesn’t list this project yet (and all the projects they do list are wind projects), but if we take a rule of thumb Continue reading

Save money by streamlining the state penal code

Even the Bainbridge and Decatur County Post-Searchlight publishes news about their very own state legislator explaining one of the biggest reasont why prisons are a bad bet for a local economy: because we can’t afford to lock up so many people anymore.

Brennan Leathers wrote 6 January 2012, Georgia legislature going back to work State Senator John Bulloch (R-Ochlocknee):

“We’re still struggling to find revenue to pay for operation of the state government and its services,” Bulloch said. “We’re going to have to fill holes that we filled during worse economic times using federal stimulus money and other temporary money.”

Bulloch said he also understands Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has instructed Georgia’s department heads to include 2-percent cuts in their budget requests for this year.

One way in which legislators might opt to save money is by streamlining its criminal penal code. According to Bulloch, Georgia has a very high number of people serving supervised probation or parole.

“A lot of those people who are in prison or under close supervision by state officers are serving sentences for non-violent offenses or minor felonies,” Bulloch said. “We may look at alternative means for dealing with them, such as creating drug courts or setting up drug-testing centers that would monitor drug offenders without imprisoning them.”

Which would mean fewer people in prison. Which would mean no need for new prisons. And some existing prisons might close.

Do we want a private prison in Lowndes County so more prisoners can compete with local workers here, too? If you don’t think so, remember CCA says community opposition can impede private prison site selection. Here’s a petition urging the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authorithy to stop the CCA private prison. Spend those tax dollars on rehabilitation and education instead.


Decatur County newspaper wants more prisoners who compete with local wo rkers

The Decatur County newspaper brags about prisoners competing with free labor, while helping try to attract another prison.

Brennan Leathers wrote for the Post-Searchlight 3 January 2010, Walls going up at new ag building,

Work on Decatur County’s new agricultural office building is quickly progressing, with interior walls being put up and the installation of a roof soon to follow.

Decatur County Prison inmates with carpentry and construction experience were working hard last Friday, putting up the interior walls inside the 9,724-square-foot building under construction near the Cloud Agricultural Building off Vada Road.

Which means some local workers with carpentry and construction experience were not working on that project.

Do we want a private prison in Lowndes County so more prisoners can compete with local workers here, too? If you don’t think so, remember CCA says community opposition can impede private prison site selection. Here’s a petition urging the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority to stop the CCA private prison.


Georgia is CCA’s model partner

“Primary site?” Really?

The initial writeup in the VDT quoted CCA as being all coy about if a need arose from the state they would be ready to deploy the private prison in Lowndes County:

“This is (for) a future need that we don’t even know what it’ll be yet,” Frank Betancourt, CCA’s vice president of real estate development said. “There’s no ground breaking to announce. When the need (for a facility) does arrive, we can be the first ones to offer (our services).”
Yet if you look on CCA’s own website under partnering:
CCA has been a great partner with us for nearly a decade now. Coffee Correctional Facility and Wheeler Correctional Facility certainly meet the standards of the Georgia Department of Corrections. I particularly appreciate CCA maintaining exemplary accreditation status with both the American Correctional Association and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare. I look forward to a continued long relationship with them.”
—Commissioner James E. Donald, Georgia Department of Corrections
And over in Decatur County people actually asked about this, and were told Continue reading

Private prisons do not increase local employment

According to an empirical study, siting a private prison in a rural county does not increase employment. (Big Prisons, Small Towns: Prison Economics in Rural America by Ryan S. King, Marc Mauer and Tracy Huling, February 2003.)

Their Key Findings:

Overall, over the course of 25 years, we find no significant difference or discernible pattern of economic trends between the seven rural counties in New York that hosted a prison and the seven rural counties that did not host a prison. While prisons clearly create new jobs, these benefits do not aid the host county to any substantial degree since local residents are not necessarily in a position to be hired for these jobs. The most significant findings are as follows:
They go on to detail effects on unemployment during economic recovery, downturn, and boom, and in each period Continue reading

What’s the value of inmates?

Cheap labor. And not just unskilled labor. Brennan Leathers wrote in The Post-Searchlight on 18 February 2011, Inmate housing a hot topic about how overcrowded nearby prisons are and about haggling over what the local jail wants to charge to house prisoners, and ended with this:
“Working our inmates the way we do has greatly benefited the county,” [Warden Elijah] McCoy [of the Decatur County Jail] said. “We can construct buildings from the ground up and wire them. We perform all of the county’s maintenance and operate some of the equipment at the county’s landfill.”
One of the comments from Decatur County way back in July 2010 was:
Not only prison jobs, but it would also be a boost for many small businesses in the area. The construction part would also be a good shot in the arm.
Local construction people who think it will be a good deal to build a private prison maybe should think they may be putting themselves out of a lot of jobs after it’s built.


How can both Lowndes and Decatur Counties think they’re getting a private prison?

Because it’s not the same prison.

As we’ve seen, the Bainbridge-Decatur County Development Authority thinks it’s getting a private prison from CCA, and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA) thinks it’s got the primary site by contract.

Carol Heard explained in The Post-Searchlight on 20 August 2010 how that could be, in Building of prison is good bet:

Jay Hollis, project manager of site acquisition for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), said the company goes to great lengths to be pre-emptive and be more competitive.

“We don’t go enter into agreements with a lot of different communities just on the outside chance that something will pop up,” Hollis said in an interview with The Post-Searchlight Wednesday. “When we go in sort of pre-emptively to get to this point, it’s because we really believe that we’re going to use that site.”

OK, that doesn’t quite explain it. But this does: Continue reading