Milledgeville sees end to adult mental heath services and state prison

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

State officials said Wednesday they are shutting down adult mental health services at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, the age-old hospital that symbolized the darkest days of psychiatric care in Georgia.

Yet even as Georgia discontinues this care at the 168-year-old facility, the state remains under fire from federal officials attacking the safety and treatment at the state's seven mental hospitals and demanding improvements.

Georgia faced a Jan. 15 deadline to be in substantial compliance with improvements laid out by the U.S. Justice Department, and state officials say they are awaiting the federal assessment on meeting that goal.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Department of Corrections says it plans to close a 650-bed prison in Milledgeville.

The department says Men's State Prison will close Dec. 1. The department says the closure will save $10.3 in direct operating costs each year.

The prison is a 1950's dorm that was converted into a prison in 1978. It houses medium security general population inmates and those with special needs.

The department says the facility lacks the safety features of other state prisons and would require more staff to be secure.

The prison's staff will be offered positions at other department facilities.