Regional Commission Success Stories: Planning for a New Jail in Jones County
Georgia’s 12 regional commissions are public agencies created and established by the Georgia Planning Act (O.C.G.A. 50-8-32) to assist local governments on a regional basis and to develop, promote, and assist in establishing coordinated and comprehensive planning in the state. The Department of Community Affairs contracts annually with the Regional Commissions to primarily foster effective local and regional planning and implementation of those plans. Our Regional Commissions' “Success Story” series highlights these regions by sharing their incredible achievements. You can view all of the communities on our Story Map.
During the 2016-2017 Jones County Joint Comprehensive Plan update, the county’s constitutional officers came with a clear identification of needs. Probate Judge Mike Greene raised the concern of space beginning to become an issue for the county’s historic courthouse and the jail.
The county came to an agreement to apply for funding for the future expansion of the female jail. This also included a courtroom available at the jail to increase staff safety and improve efficiency.
As the county reviewed their Comprehensive Plan and looked to spend out their impact fees as matching funds, the jail expansion came to the forefront, and funding was successfully received from USDA in early 2019. During the 2019 CIE update, the project was updated in the Community Work Program to “complete renovations to the county jail facility.”
Renovations were completed in 2020, ahead of schedule from the original 5-year timeframe predicted in the 2017 Comprehensive Plan. As such, Jones County was able to successfully outpace potential challenges from rapid growth while meeting a substantive community need for quality jail facilities. This makes Jones County’s effort a success in capital infrastructure planning.