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Prison & Work Release Center

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Bill McKenzie, Warden

Divisions of the Coweta County Department of Corrections

101 Selt Road
Newnan, Georgia 30263
PHONE: (770) 254-3723 / (770) 254-3728
               
Counselor's office  (770) 254-3720
FAX: (770) 254-3738 (fax)
EMAIL: bmckenzie@coweta.ga.us

Prison Facts

The Coweta County Prison has 216 beds and houses roughly 200 inmates, primarily state prisoners with some county inmates. State prisoners are assigned by the Georgia Department of Corrections through a yearly contract approved by the Board of Commissioners. The Department of Corrections pays the county $20 per day per state prisoner, this subsidy has not increased since 1999. County inmates are received from the local courts and are usually sentenced for up to 12 months in jail. Only healthy inmates are housed at the prison due to the work requirement of each inmate. Skilled and semi-skilled inmates are assigned to a variety of details under the supervision of state-certified correction officers who work for either the prison or the Road Department. 

The prison is rated as a medium security institution which housed medium and minimum inmates. Officers working inmates on outside details are authorized to carry weapons, but most details are unarmed. Only minimum/trustee security level inmates work on outside details.

Prison labor has saved county taxpayers millions of dollars by providing a ready labor force.  Inmates perform a variety of functions for the county including:

  • Mechanics (gas & diesel)
  • Road Paving & Maintenance
  • Litter pickupp
  • Sign installation and maintenance
  • Building Construction
  • Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance
  • Animal Care
  • Road Construction
  • Building Maintenance
  • Laundry
  • Food Service
  • Paint & Body Shop for County Vehicles

Inmates also attend mandatory and volunteer training offered after normal working hours involving substance abuse, GED and numerous religious activities. Some classes, such as GED, are required for consideration for parole by the Georgia Pardons and Parole Board.

Questions or complaints related to inmates working on details can be made to the Warden’s Office.  Though the prison is in charge of the inmates and their custody and care they are most likely assigned to details from the Road Department or Environmental Management.  Complaints as to road conditions and repairs should be directed to the Coweta County Road Department at 770-253-0794.

A warning is given to all citizens not to give or leave any item(s) for the inmates such as cellphones, tobacco products, any form of drugs or any other item without the permission of the Warden.  Such items left for inmates can cause the issue of a felony warrant that could cause a person to be sentenced to a jail/prison term up to five years.  Items being left at work sites or along our roadways is illegal and is dangerous to everyone involved: our inmates, our officers and the general public

Work Release Facts

The Coweta County Work Release Center opened in December of 2005 and has a capacity to hold 64 state and county sentenced male inmates. The program was approved by the Coweta County Board of Commissioners as an alternative sentence for the local courts other than a jail or prison sentence. The center is under the direct supervision of the Warden, who serves as the Director of the Coweta County Corrections Division.

In 2014 the Coweta County and the Georgia Department of Corrections entered into an agreement to accept up to 16 state inmates who are near their parole or release and who will be returning to the five-county Coweta Judicial Circuit.  Those accepted by the WRC must first complete a period of time on a detail at the county prison and if they meet the criteria for acceptance in the WRC they will transfer and begin working at a free-world job as they await their parole or release.  Sex offenders will not be accepted in this program nor any inmate who is deemed inappropriate such as armed robbery, aggravated assault or other such serious felony offenses for this minimum security facility. 

Inmates must complete an application prior to being accepted into the work release program. Most inmates are received through the Coweta County Jail but some are sentenced directly to the center from the court room. An application must be completed by the inmate along with a non-refundable application fee of $150, the center employees will conduct a background investigation including a criminal history and will make a decision and recommendation to the Warden whether to accept the inmate or not. Once accepted the inmate must pay for one full week of room and board which is presently $20.00 per day. Inmates are required to keep their room and board paid one week in advance. Inmates accepted in the program must have approved job and their location must be known at all times. Inmates in the program are responsible for their own medical expenses and visitation is not normally allowed due to the inmates being able to go out into the public sector as long as it is job related.

The minimum sentence for the program is 90 days but can be extended to the full sentence for violation of the center rules or violation of the laws and ordinances of a government entity. Some sentences are determined entirely by the court and may contain a minimum or maximum amount of time to be completed in the center before consideration for release. A work release inmate who fails the program will be removed and placed in the County Prison to complete their sentence as determined by the Warden.

The center has a zero tolerance on drugs, alcohol and smoking. Certain inmates are not eligible for the program including, sex offenders, those with mental or medical issues, those with outstanding charges, those who cannot obtain or retain employment, those who might be a flight risk or those who may commit other criminal violations. For more information please contact manager of the Work Release Center for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the prison inmates housed at the county jail on Greison Trail?
No, prison inmates are housed at the prison facility located on Selt Road.

Who operates and manages the prison?
The prison is a separate department under the control of the Board of Commissioners and the Georgia Department of Corrections. The Warden is the manager of the prison appointed by the Commissioners and approved by the State Board of Corrections.

What type of prisoner is housed at the prison?
State prisoners who have been classified by the Department of Corrections as either medium or minimum security. Only those prisoners who can work are housed at the prison and all prisoners are assigned a job that they must perform while housed here. Some inmates serving misdemeanor sentences from the county jail are housed at the prison.

Who determines an inmate's release from prison?
State inmates receive their release through the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. County inmates receive dates of release from the sentencing judge or warden.

Can inmates be given money, packages, etc.?
No. Anything given to an inmate must have prior approval of the Warden. Anyone found violating this law is subject to prosecution of a felony with up to five years in prison.

When are inmates allowed visits?
Visitation is for approved members of the immediate family. Visitors must have a picture identification. Visitation hours are:

Saturday and Sunday -- 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.
County Holidays -- 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.

For complete information regarding visitation, please call the Counselor's Office at 770-254-3720 from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. Monday - Friday. The Counselor is responsible for approving all visitors.


PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT

Coweta County Prison has a zero-tolerance policy concerning the sexual abuse or harassment of inmates in our custody.

Inmates are given a written pamphlet on how to report such activity and they have a access to a free-call using their inmate phone system.

Any information regarding the sexual abuse or harassment of an inmate can be reported: 

CALL: Ombudsman’s Office at 478-992-5358 

WRITE:
Director of Victim Services, 
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.E., Balcony Level, East Tower, 
Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

Coweta County Department of Corrections 101 Selt Road, Newnan GA 30263 
(v)770.254.3723 (f) 770.254.3738

All PREA investigations are handled by GDC Criminal Investigative Unit if it appears that criminal activity has occurred.

PREA FINAL AUDIT REPORT

PREA ANNUAL REPORT FOR COWETA CORRECTIONS