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Dismas Charities targets Laney-Walker neighborhood for prisoners' rehabilitation facility

Facilities offer rehabilitation to ex-prisoners

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Executives from a nonprofit company that operates 29 state and federal transitional facilities across the country made their case to the Laney-Walker neighborhood Wednesday for a similar center near downtown Augusta.

Steve Vice, the vice president of business development for Louisville, Ky.-based Dismas Charities Inc., told those who attended the public hearing that the national faith-based organization wants to turn a derelict brick warehouse at 602 Taylor St. into a modern facility that will assist in the rehabilitation of federal prisoners after their release from incarceration.

“We add value to the property and the neighborhoods where we locate,” Vice said.

The organization has submitted a bid to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to open the halfway house on the property that intersects with Sixth Street in the Laney-Walker neighborhood.

A similar request was made earlier this year by Nebraska-based Western Alternative Corrections Inc., which is seeking the same contract with the bureau for a vacant building at Seventh Street and Walton Way, just a block away from the other property. The public hearing for that request was held in early July, and a handful of neighbors voiced concerns.

A zoning meeting with the Augusta Planning Commission must follow within six to nine months of the public hearing.

Dismas representatives said the company would invest about $1 million in the community and could employ 21 people. Dismas has federal transitional centers in Atlanta; Macon, Ga. and Savannah, Ga.

Residents living in the “well-supervised” centers assist in various community service projects, such as cleaning up city streets, renovating abandoned and neglected homes, and maintaining parks, Vice said.

Resident Linda Metoyer said she is for the project if it’s a positive influence on her neighborhood.

“We don’t want to deter other people from being released from prison and getting their new start on life,” she said. “We do want to see some growth in our neighborhood that’s going to benefit us.”

Augusta Commission member Bill Fennoy said at the hearing that he supported the “concept” of a transitional center.

“I have no dog in the fight, but I do believe that this community should be a community of the second chance,” he said.

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nocnoc
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nocnoc 09/05/13 - 06:25 am
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Good Idea / Wrong location.

I could support such a facility in Alaska, Idaho, Chicago or, Detroit or NYC.

But, does ARC really need to attract MORE of what we already have an abundance of in the ARC.

We should be EXPORTING our surplus criminals.

corgimom
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corgimom 09/05/13 - 07:57 am
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2
That'll help sell those white

That'll help sell those white elephant Heritage Pine houses!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/05/13 - 09:06 am
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Competition for the Hood

Nothing wrong with that. Bring some fresh competition to the hood. It may lower prices of certain "things" and make things more efficient after a period of "adjustment."

ragingbull
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ragingbull 09/05/13 - 09:12 am
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I agree with nocnonc and

I agree with nocnonc and Riverman1.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/05/13 - 09:32 am
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Dismas Charities

Dismas Charities. That's the name? It reminds me of the way some say Augusta in a pejorative way.

countyman
20120
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countyman 09/05/13 - 10:37 am
1
1
I think some people should

I think some people should know the Laney Walker project has added over $4 million to the local tax base..

Laney Walker is definitely changing for the better. There's also nothing 'hood' about Heritage Pine the flagship neighborhood.

Riverman1
83913
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Riverman1 09/05/13 - 11:24 am
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You mean over $4 million in

You mean over $4 million in assessed value I think.

Riverman1
83913
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Riverman1 09/05/13 - 02:18 pm
2
1
I wonder if Charles Walker is

I wonder if Charles Walker is involved with this in any way?

The county is going to spend tens of millions in the area over the next 50 years and this is the return on the investment?

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 09/05/13 - 03:37 pm
0
0
I'm certain
Unpublished

that this rehab facility will have some residents that are of a higher moral standing than some of those living on Laney-Walker Blvd. presently.

corgimom
32418
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corgimom 09/05/13 - 03:49 pm
1
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No, there's nothing "hood"

No, there's nothing "hood" about empty houses that nobody wants to buy, alright.

They've started cutting prices on them to try and dump- um, I mean, sell them.

corgimom
32418
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corgimom 09/05/13 - 03:50 pm
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Riverman, Big Daddy is due to

Riverman, Big Daddy is due to get out Sept 26, 2014, so he can steal from- um, "represent" us again.

nocnoc
42563
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nocnoc 09/05/13 - 06:17 pm
2
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Not picking on you Countyman,

Not picking on you Countyman,

But How Much,
did the Laney Walker project cost local taxpayers in order to get that $4M assessed value increase?

corgimom
32418
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corgimom 09/05/13 - 08:21 pm
0
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$8 million, noc noc.

$8 million, noc noc.

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