Irwin County Detention Center

Irwin County Detention Center is known for detaining suspected illegal immigrants in Georgia. Get trusted info about the facility from an Atlanta immigration attorney.

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Irwin County Detention Center Attorney Jameel Manji

Manji Law is your complete immigration solution. If you are seeking assistance with the Irwin County Detention Center, please give us a call. Manji Law can provide valuable insight, assistance, and a guiding hand to help you achieve your goals.

Irwin County Detention Center

A hand-painted emblem reading “Irwin County Detention Center” identifies an isolated, boxy building encircled by barbed-wire fencing. It is situated about a mile from the center of Ocilla, Georgia, and about 200 miles (or a three-hour drive) from Atlanta. This facility has 1,200 beds, which makes the private detention center the largest employer in the 10,000-resident county.


In compliance with an agreement with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Georgia, started accommodating immigration detainees in December 2010. Since then, Irwin Detention Center has been criticized by the ACLU of Georgia for poor treatment of the immigrants being held.

The facility accommodates a small portion of the approximately 2,000 immigrants apprehended in Georgia State. To avoid falling through the cracks, detained immigrants should immediately contact a reputable immigration attorney.

Visiting Irwin Detention Center

The facility is located at 132 Cotton Drive Ocilla, GA 31774. It is open for visitors from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Male detainees receive visitors Thursdays and Saturdays; female detainee visitors are welcome on Fridays and Sundays. Visits are at a maximum one-hour long.

Minors visiting the center must be accompanied by an adult guardian of 18 years or older, and they must remain with that guardian at all times.

To ensure a smooth and event-free entry to the facility, visitors have to present valid and verifiable government-issued identification and arrive 45 minutes before the time of their scheduled visit.

Retaining an Atlanta immigration attorney helps detainees and their family members understand and comply with the facility rules and restrictions.

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Irwin County Detention Center Inmate Search

One of the primary concerns of Irwin County Detention Center inmates and their families is that they will be lost in the system. Immigration detainees who are 18 years and older can easily be located with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS).

ICE provides the following two search methods:  

  • Search by A-Number: With the Alien Registration Number, family members can explore the database. The A-Number is a special eight or nine-digit numbered assigned to a detainee. For example, an A-Number is the letter “A” with eight or nine numbers like A032195368.


On the other hand, if the person is a permanent resident who holds a green card, the number will be visible on his or her card.

  • Search by Biological Information: Families can also search by name and the country of birth. The first and last names of a detainee are needed and must exactly match. For instance, using the name “Jane Doe” will not bring results for Jon Doe or John Doe-Smith.


However, if the precise name is difficult to find, apply different misspellings, descriptions, or reversed names. Adding or removing a hyphen, such as “Rodolfo Ignacio Martinez” versus “Rodolfo Ignacio-Martinez” may result in the correct location.

Legal representation from a qualified immigration lawyer can be beneficial when navigating the potentially complicated process of locating a detained immigrant.

Reaching Irwin County Detention Center Inmates by Phone

It is impossible to directly call inmates of Irwin County Detention Center, and the facility operatives do not relay messages. To speak to a detainee on the phone, the family needs to write a letter requesting he or she places a call to reach them. There must also be enough money on account to pay for or reimburse the call.

ICE Hold Immigration Inmate Search

Occasionally, a foreign national will have an  “immigration hold,” “ICE hold,” or “immigration detainer” when they are held in state or federal custody. This means they will not be discharged until the matter is resolved in the Atlanta immigration court.

Before individuals have been moved to the custody of the federal ICE, they can be located by doing an inmate search in the local county jail system where they are incarcerated. Once they have been transferred to ICE custody, they can be found using the ICE locator.

If the detainee has been deported or released within the last sixty days, however, the online Detainee Locator search will result in a “Not in Custody” notice.

To more easily locate a detainee, family members should contact an immigration attorney to help. If you have a loved one who is working through an i-485 form, it can also be extremely helpful to seek the wisdom of an attorney. 

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Irwin Detention Center History

Irwin Detention Center has survived numerous versions. It served as the center for detainees of the U.S. Marshals Service in the early part of the 1990s. Later, it was used as a youth boot camp. Then, it sat vacant until 2004.

In 2004, the facility was purchased by Terry O’Brien of Municipal Corrections. It was reopened under the operating control of former deputy sheriff Michael Croft’s company, Michael Croft Enterprises. At that time, it was used as overflow housing for other inmates from other counties.

The Irwin County Detention Center is Big Business

In an attempt to attract federal customers, the facility’s owner and operator convinced Irwin County that a bigger facility was required. In 2007, Irwin county invested $55-million in lease revenue bonds to double the number of beds the center held. The revenue generated by the additional inmates was anticipated to create a profit to pay the bondholders.

The refurbished Irwin County Detention Center, which reopened in 2009, failed to accomplish the profits required. Later that year, operations were taken over by Detention Management LLC partnering with Municipal Corrections. Capitalizing on connections in Georgia and Washington, DC, they planned to attract the business of ICE to make the center solvent.

With an eye on the bottom-line, the facility may be more concerned about profits than the rights of its inmates. A reliable attorney who possesses experience with Georgia immigration can ensure that the needs of detainees and their families are sufficiently represented.

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Fast Facts about Georgia Immigration Detention Centers

Georgia has four major immigration detention facilities. They include the following:

  • Atlanta City Detention Center – Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Irwin County Detention Center – Ocilla, Georgia.
  • North Georgia Detention Center – Gainesville, Georgia.
  • Stewart Detention Center – Lumpkin, Georgia.
  • Folkston ICE Processing Center – Folkston, Georgia.

Georgia does not have the greatest number of illegal immigrants among the states. That distinction, according to official estimates, falls to California. According to federal records, it does, however, have the biggest and busiest facility in the nation for people facing deportation.

Irwin is one of a number of immigration detention centers in Georgia, and Folkston ICE Processing Center is one of the newest. Immigration attorneys can help inmates and their families navigate the process.

Irwin County Detention Center houses detained immigrants awaiting their court hearings. Immigration law is a complex branch of the legal sector. When required, it is important to retain an experienced immigration attorney in Atlanta with experience representing foreign detainees.

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Irwin Detention Center Georgia In the News

ICE deportation officers for the Irwin Detention Center in Georgia work from the Atlanta ERO Field Office. Family members can contact the Field Office’s duty desk at (404) 893-1290. To be routed to the deportation officer delegated to a specific case, provide the last three digits of the detainee’s alien number.

Family members are required to visit the field office during business hours to meet a deportation officer in person. The office address is 180 Spring Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

Immigration matters can be complicated and difficult to handle. Even native English speakers often find legal issues confusing. To improve one’s chance of a better outcome, it is advised to retain legal counsel from an immigration attorney like Jameel Manji from Manji Law P.C.

Jameel Manji’s Atlanta office Manji Law P.C. has the reputation as a top immigration firm. This is why family members of detainees choose to retain him for counsel and representation.

Irwin County Detention Center Help Now

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315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave, Suite 400
Decatur, GA 30030

Manji Law, P.C. 

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 678.902.2999
Fax: 404.410.4922