Thomasville's diversion center is on the verge of closing its doors for good. The diversion center houses people that have been convicted of a crime and ordered to work to make a decent living to pay probation costs and other fines, but now some could be forced back to the streets.
Marty Allen, the superintendent of Thomasville's diversion center, says he anticipated changes, but the possibility of the center's closing may be a shock to some.
The Georgia Department of Corrections was ordered to reduce its budget by more than $100 million. This facility costs more to run than other state centers because it's not state owned.
Staff members say if the center closes, the state's criminal justice program will take a serious loss.
"We provide them with a structured environment great emphasis is placed on them obtaining jobs and being respectable productive members of society," says Mike Palmer, probation officer.
Twenty-one jobs may also be in jeopardy, but Allen says most employees will be placed at other departments. Losses affecting the citizens of Thomasville, and Allen says also compromising an effort to make sure criminals pay their debt to society.
The state has already begun to close down two other centers in the state. The center is placed on a closing list, but officials say there's still hope to keep it open. If the Thomasville's center does close, the date is set for July 1 of next year.
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