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Shuttered jail receives accreditation

LAWRENCEVILLE - Just a month after officials decided to close the door of Gwinnett's prison, the facility won accreditation.

The honor was bestowed Monday at the American Corrections Association's convention in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday.

"It's kind of bittersweet," Warden David Peek said from the convention. "We put so much work and effort into it that we wanted to finish it out."

Officials began the accreditation process three years ago, and a hearing Sunday was the only step left after a two-year process, when officials voted last month to close the facility by July 2011. A work release program at the prison will end by the end of this year.

"It's kind of ironic," Peek said.

Chairman Charles Bannister said he was proud of the department's staffers.

"I'm glad to see it happen," he said. "They are doing a good job over there."

He said he did not believe the impending closure had a bearing on the accreditation.

"Nevertheless, it lets people know the operation of (the Gwinnett County Comprehensive Correctional Complex) is all in line," he said. "We're doing a good job with it and following the regulations."