Arrendale State Prison
Arrendale State Prison is a Georgia state prison for adult and juvenile female felons and probationers. It is located in Alto, Georgia and can house a maximum of 1,476 inmates of mixed security levels. This facility is the diagnostic and classification center for female inmates statewide, and it also houses the female death row.
The mission of this facility is to ensure public safety and effectively house offenders while operating a safe and secure facility. It also:
- Provides housing for adult/juvenile female felons in addition to probationers sentenced to a residential substance abuse program.
- Provides housing for adult female felons in a strategic intervention drug program (SIP).
- Provides mental health/mental retardation, academic, vocational, and other basic program services for this population.
- Provides diagnostic services for female offenders statewide.
- Hosts the Children Center for inmates and their children.
- Is the host facility for Arrendale Transitional Center and Colwell Probation Detention Center.
A Unit houses the Residential Substance Abuse Center, Transitional Center, General Population, and the Supportive Living Unit. B Unit houses General Population, C Unit houses Faith Character Based and General Population, D Unit houses General Population single cell, and E Unit houses Administrative Segregation cells. This facility houses a Special Management Unit, a C.E.R.T. team, Canine Unit, and a Fire Station.
In 2004, the prison housed 1,200 adult male inmates, mostly under the age of 25, in addition to 11 juveniles between the ages of 13 and 16. 140 of the adult inmates between the ages of 17 and 20 were declared too vulnerable to be housed with the general population.
The prison had come under scrutiny for failing to ensure the safety of its youth inmates. One inmate was strangled to death in February 2004. At the prison, juvenile inmates are kept separate from the adult population, but attend education classes together.
As a result of the prison's troubles, the state of Georgia decided to make Arrendale a women's prison to improve its status as the second most violent prison in the state.
Arrendale became exclusively a women's prison in early 2005. A number of the young male inmates were kept there until mid-2005 when they were moved to other prisons in the state. The prison has four dormitories and a medical building.
The officers at Arrendale are still transitioning from one of the most violent prisons in Georgia to a general purpose women's prison. In March 2006, the prison took in 350 women prisoners from Georgia's overflowing jail system.
Arrendale is home to the United State’s first all-female fire department and the state's first inmate fire department, thanks to the Georgia Department of Corrections' (GDC) Fire Services Division. The GDC operates many fire departments throughout the state, staffed solely by inmates, who are supervised by a POST-certified, GDC employee who is also trained as a firefighter.
The inmate firefighter program provides protection to the largely rural communities near the prisons, as well as to other locations in Georgia during emergencies. Inmates are carefully selected and are trained and certified in accordance with Georgia law and the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council, as with any regular fire department. In 2007, inmate fire squads responded to the wildfires in South Georgia in addition to the hundreds of other alarms they received statewide.
The older, original part of the prison was built in 1909 as a TB Hospital and operated till the mid-1950s when it was turned over to the Georgia Prison system. Specifically used as a prison for youthful offenders, ages 18-25, the prison was known in the 1960s and 1970s when it had a high school rated football team and marching band.
The football team was mostly undefeated until all local high schools refused to play them and lobbied the Georgia Department of Education to make them disband. At the same time Warden E. B. Caldwell made it mandatory that all inmates obtain a GED diploma and enroll in one of the on site Vocational Schools that were started under the administration of Warden Walter Matthews.
The prison was named after Lee Arrendale, former Chairman of the Georgia Board of Corrections after he and his wife were killed in a plane crash.
One notable former inmate is Shawntae Harris, an American rapper and actress better known as "Da Brat." She served three years for aggravated assault of a waitress at a nightclub, and she attempted to escape on September 18, 2008.
Tiffany Moss is currently Georgia's only female death row inmate. She was convicted in 2019 for the 2013 torture and starvation death of her stepdaughter, Emani Moss.
Kelly Gissendaner was executed on September 30, 2015 for orchestrating her husband's murder. She was the first woman to be executed by the state of Georgia since 1945 and the last known woman to be executed in the United States.
Arrendale State Prison
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Visiting Hours and Rules
The visiting days and hours at Arrendale State Prison are:
- Inmates with last names beginning with A-K: Saturdays 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM
- Inmates with last names beginning with L-Z: Sundays 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM
Visitation will be open to all visitors from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM on state holidays. The above stated schedule will rotate approximately every 90 days, please check with facility to confirm . visitation hours.
Offenders going through diagnostic process are not allowed visits.
You must fill out an application and be approved by the Georgia Department of Corrections before you can visit an inmate. For complete details about the visiting process at Arrendale State Prison click here.
Visitors are required to present positive identification prior to their admission for visiting. A driver's license with a picture, a picture identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety, or other acceptable photographic identification card will be required of all visitors, age sixteen (16) and over.
Visitors can only bring into the facility items identified by the facility (i.e., identification card, car keys). No food or drink will be brought into the facility from the outside other than bottled formula or like store-bought products for babies.
Visitors will be allowed to bring a maximum of twenty dollars ($20.00) in coins to be used for the vending machines. Funds from visitors for offenders will be accepted only through the mail. Musical instruments, radios, pets, cameras, or tape recorders will not be allowed in the visiting area.
All visitors are subject to a preliminary search of their person by electronic surveillance instruments (metal detectors, etc.). All items brought into the facility by a visitor will be searched by officers assigned to the visitation area.
Visitors are required to wear appropriate attire. Shoes are required at all times for visitors, including children if they are able to walk or stand.
Male visitors will be required to wear shirts and full-length trousers. Females may wear trousers, or if a female visitor wears a dress, skirt or other similar garment, it may NOT be more than two (2) inches above the knees. Furthermore, all female visitors must wear foundation type garments such as bras, panties, and slip.
Inappropriate clothing shall include, but is not limited to:
- Dresses or tops with thin straps which expose shoulders or chest area in any manner
- Tube tops or halters of any type
- Any type of clothing which reveals the stomach or midriff area
- Any type of clothing that is made of sheer or transparent material
- Shorts of any kind or any kind of slacks that are above the knee (twelve years old and under may wear shorts)
- Male visitors are not permitted to wear tank tops or short tops of any kind, nor see-through tops made of net or mesh webbing.
- Shorts are not permitted (children twelve 12 years old and under may wear shorts)
- Any other type of clothing that is suggestive or revealing in any way is prohibited
Arrendale State Prison
2023 Gainesville Highway South
Alto, GA 30510
Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/PbvcRKRZAYuENoUL8
General Phone Number
Inmate Mailing Address(es)
Inmate Name and ID Number
Arrendale State Prison
P.O. Box 709
Alto, GA 30510
You can send a package to an inmate through the George Inmate Package Program.
How to Call an Inmate
You can’t call an inmate at Arrendale State Prison, but they do have access to phones during approved hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Georgia, please click here.
How to Send Money
To send money to an inmate at Arrendale, you must use JPay or MoneyGram. The fees for this service vary based on which method you use and the amount of money you are sending.
- Online or Mobile App: To send an inmate money with your credit or debit card, visit JPay.com or download the JPay Mobile App that is available at the Apple App Store (for iPhones) and Google Play (for Android phones).
- By phone: Call (800) 574-5729 to talk with a live JPay call center agent and send money with a debit or credit card.
- Mail a money orderㅡmade payable to JPayㅡwith a deposit slip to:
P.O. Box 260010
Hollywood, FL 33026
A money order deposit slip is available here.
If you would like to use cash, visit a MoneyGram location in person and use receive code 6857. MoneyGram locations include all Walmarts and CVS Pharmacies.
Programs For Inmates
Academic: General Equivalency Diploma, Adult Basic Education, Literacy, Special Education
Counseling: Moral Reconation Therapy, Motivation for Change, Family Violence, Thinking for a Change, Re-Entry, Parenting, Relapse Prevention, Behavior Stabilization, Career Center
Recreation: General Recreation
Religious Activities: Various Worship Services, Bible Study, & Pastoral Counseling
Vocational/OJT: Small Engine Repair, Auto Mechanics, Auto Paint, Woodworking, Cosmetology, Electrical Wiring, Warehousing, Auto Detailing, Welding (Metal Fabrication), Food Service, Fire Department, Educational & Library Aides, Office Technology, Maintenance/Detailing, Culinary Arts , Farm Worker, Guide Dog Program, Veterinary Technician, Dog Grooming, Forever Friends Dog Rescue
Work details: Farm Operation (swine and cattle), General Maintenance, Food Service, (7) Contract Details, Fire Department, Equine Rescue Center, Hay Operation
Pictures of Arrendale State Prison
Careers at Arrendale State Prison
If you are interested in a job at Arrendale State Prison, click here.
New employees select their benefits within 30 days of hire date. Changes can be made within 30 days of a life-changing event during the year (for example a qualifying event would be birth or adoption of a child, death in the family, marriage, divorce).