Bill McKenzie, Warden
101 Selt Road
Newnan, Georgia 30263
PHONE: (770) 254-3723 / (770) 254-3728
Counselor's office (770) 254-3720
FAX: (770) 254-3738 (fax)
Coweta County Prison has 216 beds and houses primarily state offenders. State offenders 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 offender, this subsidy has not increased since 1999. Most county inmates are received from the local courts and are usually sentenced for up to 12 months at the work release center. Only healthy offenders are housed at the prison due to the work requirement of each offender. Skilled and semi-skilled offenders are assigned to a variety of details under the supervision of state-certified correction officers who work for either the prison, the Public Works Division which include Road Department, Fleet Maintenance, and Environmental Management.
The prison is rated as a medium security institution which houses medium and minimum offenders. There are no registered sex offenders housed at this facility. Officers working offenders on outside details are authorized to carry weapons, but most details are unarmed. Only medium/minimum security level offenders work on outside details.
All details work under the direct supervision of a state certified corrections officer and who are deemed peace officers by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, they do have the “power of arrest” as it relates to corrections matters.
Offender’s prison labor has saved county taxpayers millions of dollars by providing a ready labor force. Offenders perform a variety of functions for the county including:
Offenders attend mandatory and voluntary training and activities including; Re-entry, Motivation for Change (M4C) GED, and a welding certification program certified by the West Georgia Technical College. Several religious programs are provided for the offenders including; bible study and worship services.
Though the prison is in charge of the offenders and their custody and care they are most likely assigned to details from the Road Department or Environmental Management who is responsible for what and where they work. Complaints as to road conditions and repairs should be directed to the Coweta County Public Works Department at 770-253-0794.
All citizens are warned not to give or leave any item(s) for the offenders such as cellphones, tobacco products, any form of drugs or any other item without the permission of the Warden. Such items left for offenders 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 offenders, our officers and the general public
Questions or complaints related to offenders working on details can be made to the Deputy Warden’s Office. The office number is 770-254-3723.
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 offenders. 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, Coweta County and the Georgia Department of Corrections entered into an agreement to accept up to 16 state offenders who are near their parole or release and who will be returning to the five-county Coweta Judicial Circuit. We have added the counties of Fayette, Spalding and Douglas but they must be approved by the Georgia Department of Corrections to enter the work release also known as a Transitional Center. The Office of Victim Services must also approve all state offenders prior to being accepted in work release.
Those state offenders 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 transferred 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, murder or other such serious felony offenses for this minimum security facility.
County offenders 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. The application must be completed by the offenders along with a non- refundable application fee of $150, the center employees will conduct a thorough background investigation including a criminal history and will make a decision and recommendation to the Warden whether to accept the inmate into the program. Once accepted the offenders must pay for one full week of room and board which is presently $20.00 per day. Offenders are required to keep their room and board paid one week in advance. Offenders accepted in the program must have approved job and their location must be known at all times. Offenders 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 for a twelve month sentence is 90 days but can be longer up 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 offender who fails the program can be removed and placed in the County Prison to complete their sentence as determined by the Warden as well as additional charges for the violation of law.
The prison and center has a zero tolerance on drugs, alcohol and smoking. Certain offenders 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 (FAQ's)
Are the prison offenders housed at the county jail on Greison Trail?
No, prison inmates are housed at the prison facility located at 101 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 confirmed by the Georgia State Board of Corrections.
What type of offender is housed at the prison?
State offenders who have been classified by the Department of Corrections as either medium or minimum security. Only those offenders who can work are housed at the prison and are assigned a job that they must perform while housed here. Some offenders serving misdemeanor sentences from the county jail are also housed at the prison along with those who violate the WRC policies and are moved to the prison for expiration of their sentence.
How does an inmate get assigned to Coweta County Prison?
The Georgia Department of Correction makes the determination of where a state offender is housed. The Warden has no control of where an offender is housed. Families wanting to get their relative assigned to Coweta must first contact their Counselor at the facility they are assigned and seek their advice as to whether the inmate is even eligible for placement at a county prison.
The Warden at Coweta County does not make Warden to Warden transfer requests, as the decision is up to the Department of Corrections, Offender Administration.
Who determines an inmate's release from prison?
State offenders receive their release through the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. County offenders receive dates of release from the sentencing judge or Warden.
Can inmates be given money, packages, etc.?
No. Anything given to an offender 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.
Inmates who are making cellphone calls are breaking the law and no inmate at Coweta County Prison is allowed to have or use a cellphone.
When are offenders allowed visits?
Visitation is for approved members of the immediate family. All visitors must submit and clear the fingerprint scan required at the front gate, along with clearing the metal detectors before they will be allowed inside the visitation area. Failure to clear these devices will terminate your ability to visit with the inmates. Jewelry and clothing containing a lot of metal should not be worn if possible as it will interfere with the metal detectors and could cause the visitor to remove it and return it back to their vehicle before being allowed to enter. Visitors must have 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 Counselors are responsible for approving all visitors with concurrence of the Warden.
PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT
Coweta County Prison has a zero-tolerance policy concerning the sexual abuse or harassment of offenders in our custody. This is a federal law and includes all visitors, contractors, vendors, employees and offenders.
Inmates are given a written pamphlet on how to report such activity and they have an access to a free- call using the offender phone system.
Any information regarding the sexual abuse or harassment of an offender 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
(voice) 770-254-3723 (fax) 770.254.3738
All PREA investigations are handled by GDC Criminal Investigative Unit if it appears that criminal activity has occurred.