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Virginia Department of Corrections — Public Safety First

News: Press Releases

For Release: September 30, 2002- Contact: Larry Traylor, (804) 674-3574

Secretary of Public Safety to Visit Staunton Correctional Center

RICHMOND – At the request of Governor Mark Warner, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety John Marshall and Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) Acting Director Gene Johnson will visit Staunton Correctional Center (SCC) this Thursday, October 3, 2002, to meet with elected officials and Department of Corrections (DOC) employees in anticipation of the prison’s December closing.

“I look forward to meeting DOC employees and listening to their concerns,” said Secretary Marshall. “The Governor and I know that Staunton employees have a lot of questions. Most of all I think they want the opportunity to be heard.”

A plan to close SCC effective July 1, 2003 was originally requested by the 2002 Virginia General Assembly. Because of the increasing state budget shortfall the DOC has proposed advancing the date of closure to December 2002.

DOC officials began meeting in groups and individually with SCC staff in mid-August to provide information on the pending closure and answer employee questions. Individual meetings gave the employees a further opportunity to ask questions, provide their preferences for placement within DOC or other state agencies, and to provide any other information that would be helpful in the placement process.

SCC inmates have already begun moving in phases to other DOC facilities across the state. Factors such as security, supervision, medical and educational needs are being considered prior to each inmate’s relocation.

When the last inmate leaves the facility, the job of cataloguing and inventorying twenty-six (26) year’s worth of DOC documentation and equipment will begin. Because areas of SCC are considered historic landmarks, special care must be taken to preserve the history and integrity of certain buildings during this process. SCC has developed a time-line for physically closing the facility. Both the Department of Correctional Education (DCE) and Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE) operate programs at SCC and must also be considered.

The SCC boiler plant will remain in operation into 2003 to ensure that the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind will continue to receive steam and heat during the winter months.