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County Correctional Center to close

New state budget cuts announced yesterday will result in the loss of another 62 jobs for Pulaski County, which already is facing a 9.4 percent jobless rate.
In his October 2008 reduction plan for the 2009 fiscal year budget, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine plans to save the state just over $1.6 million by closing Pulaski Correctional Center off Morgan’s Cut Road (Old Route 11) near Dublin.
The facility, constructed in 1955, is one of six correctional facilities statewide that the governor proposes to close to help make up for an estimated $2.5 billion shortfall in revenue through 2010.
Seventh District Delegate Dave Nutter (R-Christiansburg) expressed “complete surprise” by the planned closing of the Pulaski facility, noting that neither he nor county officials had any warning of the announcement.
“While I recognize that the Commonwealth is facing a serious budget challenge that will require painful choices this year and next, (Kaine’s) decision will further hurt a community already hard hit by the loss of thousands of jobs and with an unemployment rate approaching 9 percent,” Nutter said.
He noted that Pulaski Correctional Center is one of the few Level 2 security prisons available in the state.
“The Commonwealth does not have many minimum/low medium security facilities to help prisoners transition into society,” Nutter said.
“While the General Assembly is just now learning of the governor’s plans, I intend to carefully scrutinize this decision against the Department of Corrections strategic plans while it is moving forward with plans to open privately operated prisons.”
Pulaski Correctional Center Warden Clarence A. Hollar declined to comment on Kaine’s announcement. He referred questions to Correctional Department spokesman Larry Traylor.
Traylor said the goal is to have all of the governor’s reduction plans implemented by Jan. 25. He said the state also plans to try to help qualify all displaced state employees for other positions that have not been filled.
Asked how the Corrections Department plans to handle overcrowding issues in state prisons with the closing of additional facilities, Traylor said, “We’re always dealing with space issues.”
He said all of the inmates at the closing facilities will be evaluated in terms of their medical, educational, job and security needs and then be “absorbed” into other prison facilities.
“We’re going to make the best out of it as we can,” he added.
The Pulaski facility is constructed on 52 acres and had an average daily population of 422 inmates in June of this year. The facility also offers a substance abuse treatment center, according to the state Corrections Department web site.
Being a Level 2 facility means the correctional center is equipped to accommodate Level 1 and Level 2 prisoners who haven’t had any disruptive behaviors in at least 24 months and have not attempted to escape.
Level 1 excludes inmates serving time for first- or second- degree murder, sex offenses, kidnapping and abduction.
Level 2 inmates are those serving single life sentences who have reached their parole eligibility date.
The governor’s reduction plan calls for 567 layoffs of state employees.

County Correctional Center to close

New state budget cuts announced yesterday will result in the loss of another 62 jobs for Pulaski County, which already is facing a 9.4 percent jobless rate.
In his October 2008 reduction plan for the 2009 fiscal year budget, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine plans to save the state just over $1.6 million by closing Pulaski Correctional Center off Morgan’s Cut Road (Old Route 11) near Dublin.
The facility, constructed in 1955, is one of six correctional facilities statewide that the governor proposes to close to help make up for an estimated $2.5 billion shortfall in revenue through 2010.
Seventh District Delegate Dave Nutter (R-Christiansburg) expressed “complete surprise” by the planned closing of the Pulaski facility, noting that neither he nor county officials had any warning of the announcement.
“While I recognize that the Commonwealth is facing a serious budget challenge that will require painful choices this year and next, (Kaine’s) decision will further hurt a community already hard hit by the loss of thousands of jobs and with an unemployment rate approaching 9 percent,” Nutter said.
He noted that Pulaski Correctional Center is one of the few Level 2 security prisons available in the state.
“The Commonwealth does not have many minimum/low medium security facilities to help prisoners transition into society,” Nutter said.
“While the General Assembly is just now learning of the governor’s plans, I intend to carefully scrutinize this decision against the Department of Corrections strategic plans while it is moving forward with plans to open privately operated prisons.”
Pulaski Correctional Center Warden Clarence A. Hollar declined to comment on Kaine’s announcement. He referred questions to Correctional Department spokesman Larry Traylor.
Traylor said the goal is to have all of the governor’s reduction plans implemented by Jan. 25. He said the state also plans to try to help qualify all displaced state employees for other positions that have not been filled.
Asked how the Corrections Department plans to handle overcrowding issues in state prisons with the closing of additional facilities, Traylor said, “We’re always dealing with space issues.”
He said all of the inmates at the closing facilities will be evaluated in terms of their medical, educational, job and security needs and then be “absorbed” into other prison facilities.
“We’re going to make the best out of it as we can,” he added.
The Pulaski facility is constructed on 52 acres and had an average daily population of 422 inmates in June of this year. The facility also offers a substance abuse treatment center, according to the state Corrections Department web site.
Being a Level 2 facility means the correctional center is equipped to accommodate Level 1 and Level 2 prisoners who haven’t had any disruptive behaviors in at least 24 months and have not attempted to escape.
Level 1 excludes inmates serving time for first- or second- degree murder, sex offenses, kidnapping and abduction.
Level 2 inmates are those serving single life sentences who have reached their parole eligibility date.
The governor’s reduction plan calls for 567 layoffs of state employees.