Bay City Work Camp closing

Bay City Work Camp

Bay City Work Camp is closing this month.

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 01:26 PM.

Bad news landed in the county’s lap last week with the announcement the Bay City Work Camp in Apalachicola would close this month.

Christopher Atkins, warden of Carrabelle’s Franklin Correctional Institution (FCI), which oversees Bay City, told county commissioners July 2 he learned a day earlier of the closure, set to be completed by month’s end.

Atkins said the Florida Department of Corrections is running a $73 million deficit, and that other camps would be closing as well to help stanch the red ink.

The Bay City inmates, of which there were 282 as of June 2011, are “moving to brand new camps with lower operating costs,” he said. “As soon as we found out we wanted to let you know.

“Nobody will be losing their job,” said Atkins. “We are hiring more staff for an additional dorm at FCI and there will be promotion opportunities.”

Ann Howard, communications director for the DOC, said the department was in a deficit, but would not confirm its size. “We have no official number yet, the fiscal year just started,” she said.

She said the DOC would be closing facilities in Brevard and Glades counties, and opening work camps in Union, Liberty and FCI, the latter thought to absorb the bulk of the Bay City inmates.

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