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Comprehensive Correctional Complex
The Gwinnett County Department of Corrections is housed in the Comprehensive Correctional Complex, an 800-bed facility located at 750 Hi Hope Road in Lawrenceville. The facility opened in September 2002 and contains 512 beds for medium and minimum-security state and County inmates who are sentenced to full-time incarceration. These inmates are assigned to supervised work crews that provide a supplemental labor force to Gwinnett County. Inmates perform most janitorial and landscaping services at the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center and maintain the landscaping along the Ronald Reagan Parkway. They perform similar tasks at other county-owned buildings, roadways, and parks.
The Comprehensive Correctional Complex also contains 288 Work Release Program beds for criminal offenders, and parents who fail to pay court-ordered child support. The Work Release Program provides a cost effective semi-incarceration sentencing alternative that benefits the participants (called residents), their families, and the community by allowing offenders to maintain regular employment while serving non-working hours in custody. Each resident is required to pay administrative and daily fees to offset the costs of the program in addition to any court ordered fines, probation fees, and child support payments.
The Gwinnett County Department of Corrections also administers the Work Alternative Program which allows judges to sentence offenders convicted of minor crimes to perform community service work in lieu of incarceration. In contrast to offenders sentenced to full-time incarceration or the Work Release Program, participants in the Work Alternative Program report to the Comprehensive Correctional Complex in the morning and return home at the end of the work day. Participants provide a supplemental labor force to government and nonprofit agencies by performing such tasks as removing trash from roadsides, parks, school stadiums and park/ride lots. Work Alternative Program participants must pay a one time administrative charge and daily fees to offset the cost of the program.
History of the Gwinnett County Corrections Department
In 1973, the County prison was known as the Public Works Camp, or more popularly, the PWC. The facility had two dormitories that housed 112 inmates. The type of work performed by the inmates was primarily patching pot holes in paved roads, building and repairing wooden bridges, and cutting right-of-ways. The department also operated a farm, slaughterhouse, cannery, and smokehouse that provided food for the inmate population.
In 1984, the prison became known as the Correctional Institution. The building was expanded, adding 120 beds in two additional dormitories. The expansion included a day room, inside isolation cells, and additional office space. The expansion was jointly funded by the Georgia Department of Corrections to help relieve overcrowding in the state system.
In 1985, because of increasing pressure from the federal courts to reduce overcrowding at the County jail, the Correctional Institution began housing pre-trial detainees in two modular housing units. Detainees were housed here until 1991 when the new Detention Center was opened. Fines imposed by the courts were returned to the County and used to purchase the modular units. The additional housing was used to expand the Work Release Program.
Abandoned by the Sheriff’s Department with the opening of the new Detention Center, the Department of Corrections assumed control of the old County jail and converted it into a Diversion Center. After several months of renovation, it opened in March 1992 with 170 beds and a staff of 18 personnel. With the removal of the Work Release Program participants from the Correctional Institution, the capacity for inmates was increased to 262.
Due to increasing need for bed space at the Diversion Center, 60 additional beds were added in 1995 using two mobile housing units.
In 1996, James L. Kraus, a 22-year veteran with the Gwinnett County Police Department, was named the sixth warden to lead the Department of Corrections.
In 1998, plans for a new state-of-the-art facility had begun. Land belonging to both the State of Georgia and Gwinnett County was identified directly across from the existing institution and deemed to be satisfactory for the new facility.
History of Wardens
Clyde N. Phillips 1939 – 1971
Fred Banks 1971 – 1981
Gary Lancaster 1981 – 1987
Michael Barkhurst 1987 – 1992
Sandra Blount 1993 – 1996
James L. Kraus 1996 – 2008
David W. Peek 2008 – 2013
Darrell Johnson 2013 – Present