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New inmate processing facility to open at Charles B. Webster Detention Center

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 7:36 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 2:01 AM
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Maj. Gene Johnson is looking forward to Tuesday, when he will finally have every inmate under one roof with the opening of the new inmate processing center at the Charles B. Webster Deten­tion Center.

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Capt. Bill Reeves shows the property room during a tour to road patrol officers of the new processing building at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on Phinizy Road. The new center plans to begin processing inmates at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Capt. Bill Reeves shows the property room during a tour to road patrol officers of the new processing building at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on Phinizy Road. The new center plans to begin processing inmates at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

Beginning at 6 a.m., all inmates will start their jail experience at the detention center on Phinizy Road instead of at the old jail at 401 Walton Way.

While construction was underway for the new processing center – the second phase of the Phinizy Road construction project – inmates were processed at the old jail. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office took new inmates to the Phinizy Road jail twice a day. All inmates were permanently moved out of the jail pods in 2012, leaving only the processing center and a few employees in the old building, which was built in 1985.

“We’ll be glad when (the move) is over,” Johnson said.

Road deputies got a tour of the new processing center during the last week of Decem­ber so they could be prepared for opening day.

“This is just the end of another phase,” Capt. Chester Huffman said. “It’s not a big change. It’s very little.”

The two jails are separated by less than 10 miles, but the miles and time it took to transport prisoners during construction added up. Huff­man said 30,000 trips from downtown were made to Phinizy Road in 2012. The trips either involved transport to or from the old jail or the courthouse.

“That’s a big number,” Huffman said. “We’re hoping to make a huge dent in that number right off the bat.”

Jail officials said two new courtrooms opening with the processing center will also help decrease the number.

One court space at Phinizy Road offers a video connection to the courthouse so inmates can have their first court “appearance” without leaving the detention center. Officials said this will increase safety for officers and the community because the inmate doesn’t have to travel across town.

The second room will probably get less use, officials said, but is a more “public” space that provides the opportunity to hold court, complete with a judge and jurors, if needed.

Phinizy Road will also have new camera systems, computers and technology that the old processing center didn’t have.

Johnson said employees have worked tirelessly to move files, equipment and all inmate personal effects, but still have much to do.

“We’ll still be moving stuff for probably the next month or so,” Johnson said.

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corgimom
33151
Points
corgimom 01/05/14 - 11:36 pm
2
3
Yeah, the multi-million pile

Yeah, the multi-million pile of junk that didn't even last 30 years.

Only in Augusta.

LeConteSkier
522
Points
LeConteSkier 01/06/14 - 01:55 am
2
0
And Atlanta

Where the multimillion dollar Georgia Dome and Turner Field won't or barely will last 20 years!

bclicious
721
Points
bclicious 01/06/14 - 08:12 am
1
0
What is to become 401?

I hope that the Sheriff's Office, or the Augusta Government will at least use the building as administrative offices of some sort. It's already a waste, but we have too many abandoned building eyesores in Richmond County as it is.

nocnoc
43399
Points
nocnoc 01/06/14 - 09:33 am
2
0
Sell the OLD Jail

How about it?

Get rid of the Gordon Hwy/Walton Way Eye sore.
A ugly building that is one of the 1st things a visitor sees coming into Downtown Augusta.

Any Commercial solution would at least mean Property Tax $$$$$.

nocnoc
43399
Points
nocnoc 01/06/14 - 09:33 am
2
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Countyman you missed telling us about this.

Great South Side housing improvement.☺

Question: Are inmates counted as part of the ARC population for the census?

Just poking fun... have a good week.

BTW: In all honesty, you have been pretty accurate about a majority of your growth comments so far.

SheilaJ15
455
Points
SheilaJ15 01/06/14 - 02:48 pm
0
0
Hope this one doesn't leak!

I just hope this one doesn't leak!

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