The Union Recorder

Local News

December 7, 2011

New prison officially open

MILLEDGEVILLE — State and local officials joined GEO Group company officials for the ribbon cutting for the new Riverbend Correctional Facility Tuesday.

Years in the making, the $80 million facility will eventually house 1,500 inmates and is a public private partnership between the state of Georgia and the GEO Group, a company specializing in operating private prisons throughout the world.

The event drew the company president as well as Ga. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and other dignitaries for the ribbon cutting and opening.

Because of safety issues, company officials cannot disclose when inmates might begin arriving at the facility, but expect to have a prison population near the first of the year.

The GEO Group has also made strides to be a corporate partner with the community as well as with the state. Since the groundbreaking, the company has awarded 15 $1,000 scholarships to Baldwin seniors and has delivered computer work stations at the area's elementary schools. The prison is also a member of the Milledgeville Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce and will soon assemble a community advisory board.

The ribbon cutting was complimented with refreshments, tours and music from the Baldwin High School Band, as well as musical renditions from John Milledge Academy students and Baldwin High student and aspiring singer Patrick Kelsey.

Riverbend Correctional Facility is located on Laying Farm Road in south Baldwin County near Central State Hospital and adjacent to Baldwin State Prison.

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