780 immigration detainees to be held at Folkston facility

Folkston ICE Processing Center expected to cost $21 million annually

FOLKSTON, Ga. – Early next year a government contractor will open 780 beds for U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement detainees an existing facility in Folkston. The facility, which will be called the Folkston ICE Processing Center, will be located next to the privately owned D. Ray James Correctional Institution, and house immigration detainees under a five-year agreement between Charlton County and ICE.

The center is expected to begin accepting detainees during the first quarter 2017 to help ICE's increasing need for detention beds. The contract between the GEO Group and with ICE is expected to cost $21 million annually.

The facility is expected to create an estimated economic impact of about $42 million for the Folkston area, U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, said in a news release.

“We are very appreciative of the continued confidence placed in our company by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with this important contract,” said GEO's CEO, George Zoley.

GEO has worked with ICE since the 1980s.