The Different Destinations of a Convicted Felon

If you are convicted of a crime in Georgia, there are over 26 different types of correctional facilities that you could end up in.

There are three main types of detention, depending on the jurisdiction of the crime: local, state, and federal. There is jail (primarily a short term detention center) and prison (long term). There are also halfway houses, juvenile detention centers, pre-release centers, transitional centers, boot camps, probation detention centers and more.

In Georgia, prisons fall into one of three categories: Close Security, Medium Security or Minimum Security. There are 30 state prisons in Georgia, three of which are designated for women. In addition to state run prisons, Georgia also employs four private prison facilities, one of which is currently under construction.

The Metro State Prison for Women in Atlanta was a maximum security state prison which housed only female inmates, before it closed in 2011. According to a 2004 ABC News report, 90% of the inmates said they’ve had sex with another woman while in prison. The Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson is the only maximum security prison in Georgia where the death sentence is carried out. Georgia State Prison is the main maximum security state prison in Georgia, which houses up to 1,255 inmates. It was originally built in 1937 as a federal penitentiary, but was determined to be too remote and sold to the State of Georgia. The 1974 version of The Longest Yard was filmed here.

On the federal level, there is Minimum Security, Low Security, Medium Security, High Security (also known as U.S. Penitentiaries), Correctional Complexes, Metropolitan Correctional Centers (MCCs), Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs), Federal Detention Centers (FDCs), and Federal Medical Centers (FMCs), Satellite Prison Camps, Federal Satellite Low Security, Secure Female Facilities, as well as the Federal Transfer Center (FTC), the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP), and the Administrative-Maximum (ADX) U.S. Penitentiary.

Built in 1994, the most secure prison in the U.S. is the ADX super-maximum security federal prison in Florence, Colorado. It houses such notorious inmates as Zacarias Moussaoui, who was charged with a key role in the September 11 attacks, Terry Nichols who was a co-conspirator in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unibomber, and Eric Rudolph who conducted the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, among other bombings. It also houses many inmates who have committed violent crimes in other prisons, such as former Aryan Brotherhood leader Thomas Silverstein. Nearly 95% of inmates at ADX are transfers with violent histories at other facilities. Inmates are kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, and are not allowed to come into contact with other prisoners at any time for at least the first three years. ADX has been called “the Alcatraz of the Rockies.”

Additional Resources

Something Interesting The World’s Most Secure Prison: ADX Florence: http://sometimes-interesting.com/2011/07/12/the-world%E2%80%99s-most-secure-prison-adx-florence/

Federal Bureau of Prisons: http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/index.jsp

Georgia Department of Corrections Facility Search: http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/GDC/FacilityMap/jsp/FacQrybyFacility.jsp

Georgia Department of Corrections Facility Descriptions: http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/pdf/facilitiesDocument.pdf

ABC News Inside a Maximum Security Women’s Prison: http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=227295&page=1

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