It was recently announced the pending closure of a portion of D. Ray James Federal Prison has been postponed until the end of the year. While there is not a set date as of press time, the contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons will officially dissolve by the beginning of 2021.
In preparation for the closure of GEO’s portion of the prison, detainees are slowly being moved out of D. Ray James into other prisons under the FBOP. However, due to the strenuous process of each move, prisoners have not been transported at the rate originally planned.
City Manager Pender Lloyd said, “They’re not moving prisoners out fast enough, so they had to push back the date.”
While the ICE portion of the prison will remain open, the closure will take 316 jobs away from local citizens, as well as the largest water/sewer account for the city.
“Folkston will certainly feel the loss of the water and sewer revenues,” said Lloyd.
The city remains hopeful that a new contractor will step in and take over.
“We hope the prison isn’t unoccupied for long,” said Lloyd, “We know [state officials] are trying to find new contracts. But right now, that’s about all we know.”