TRION, GA (Times Free Press) -- Public officials and lawmakers will get a look today at what millions of tax dollars are buying at Hays State Prison, but the media won't be allowed inside even though one lawmaker requested their presence.

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, said he asked the Georgia Department of Corrections on Wednesday if he could bring a reporter into the prison to view progress on correcting security problems, giving the public an update on Hays. But Hufstetler said he was told "no" because the renovation project isn't complete.

The corrections department has been largely silent on the situation inside Hays since four inmates were killed in eight weeks between Dec. 19 and Feb. 5. During and after the violence, guards and even inmates provided the media with what little information could be had about the situation at Hays. All spoke anonymously because they feared retaliation.

There was hope that today's tour might offer the first glimpse of what state officials have said is a more secure Hays.

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