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GDC Staff and Offenders provide Hurricane Matthew relief

Homer Bryson
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Jeal Salter
Contact Email:

GDC Staff and Offenders provide Hurricane Matthew relief

Debris Removal Crews and Fire Teams Assist State and Local Partners

FORSYTH, Ga. – Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) staff and offenders have been assisting local and state partner agencies in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.  Both staff and offender crews have been continuously responding to debris removal requests and other relief efforts across coastal Georgia communities impacted by the storm.

“It is essential to partner with state and local agencies during natural disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew,” said Commissioner Bryson. “I am proud of the countless hours and selfless work our GDC staff and offenders have been providing.”

GDC began assisting the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency’s (GEMHSA) State Operations Center (SOC) by providing additional staffing and support, prior to the storm’s landfall on the coast of Georgia. A request was submitted to the GDC to load and unload approximately 900 cots for a shelter in Ware County.  In addition, staff from GDC’s Office of Professional Standards provided continuous relief to Georgia State Patrol with I-16 contraflow management.

Following the storm, the Department began receiving requests for debris removal in the coastal area. GDC staff worked with the affected counties and provided teams consisting of offender firefighters and work details to help with recovery efforts. These teams were deployed from Rogers, Dodge, Telfair, Montgomery, Johnson, Georgia, Ware, Smith, and Hancock State Prisons, Long Unit, Bacon and Emanuel Probation Detention Center, and Smith Transitional Center. 

In addition to these efforts, GDC staff from Facilities Operations tracked and coordinated the evacuation and return of all offenders and residents from Coastal State Prison and Coastal Transitional Center, marking the first time the facility has been evacuated since 1998.

The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit

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