A new contract has been awarded to manage the Graceville Correctional Facility.
According to the Florida Department of Management Services, which awards state contracts, GEO Group will be taking over the facility when the current contract expires Jan. 31, 2014.
GEO Group, formerly the Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, manages 57 facilities in the United States, including Blackwater River Correctional Facility in Milton and is taking over management of the facility from Corrections Corporation of America.
The Graceville Correctional Facility houses nearly 2,000 male inmates and employs 300 people.
Steve Owen, Senior Director of Public Affairs with CCA, released this statement on his company losing the bid at GCF.
"We are disappointed with the decision. CCA put forward a very competitive and cost effective proposal to the State that would enable the dedicated professionals at Graceville to continue delivering the safe, secure operations and quality rehabilitation and reentry programming Florida has come to expect from CCA over the past three years.
"That said, we respect the State's decision and will work closely with them and the successful bidder to ensure a safe, seamless transition of management at the end of the current contract, which is set to expire on January 31, 2014. We will also work closely with our valued employees to ensure that they are provided every opportunity to continue their careers with CCA at one of our more than 60 facilities nationwide, including four in Florida.
"We are grateful to the residents, businesses and officials in Graceville and the greater Jackson County area for their strong support and allowing CCA to be a part of their community these past three years."
Ben Wolf, Director of Communications with the Florida Department of Management Services said that a decision on the contract of the other facilities in Florida managed by CCA has not been reached. The other two are Bay Correctional Facility, located on Bayline Drive that houses nearly 1,000 inmates and Moore Haven Correctional Facility in Glades County that also houses nearly 1,000 inmates.