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Albany city staff to develop probation center proposal

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ALBANY, Ga: The Albany City Commission issued a directive to staff Tuesday to research a request from the Georgia Department of Corrections to locate within the city a center designed to help probationers avoid a return trip to jail as they piece their lives together.

The motion came after Stanley Cooper, an assistant director for the Georgia Department of Corrections, gave a presentation on Day Reporting Centers Tuesday.

Touted as a means to curb the cost associated with recidivism, an Albany center has long been planned but GDOC, hampered by budget cuts, can't afford to build its own center.

Instead, Cooper said, the state is interested in working with local government to see if they have an existing building they would be willing to let the center occupy, if the state was willing to fund the majority of operating costs.

After hearing the presentation, city commissioners voted unanimously to task city staff with putting a proposal together that will identify what recurring costs will be associated with the deal to the local taxpayer and when and if their colleagues with the county could get financially involved.

It's the second time Cooper has given the presentation in Albany. The first came last month before the Dougherty County Commission. After searching their existing properties, County Administrator Richard Crowdis reported back to that body that they had no vacant buildings large enough to meet GDOC's needs.

If DCOR can't find a place in Albany to put a center, they plan on using a former training building at Lee State Prison outside of Leesburg.