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Virginia Department of Corrections — Public Safety First

News: Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 25, 2013 - Contact Lisa E. Kinney, (804) 674-3275

River North Correctional Center Opens In Grayson County

RICHMOND - River North Correctional Center opened today as Virginia’s first new prison since 2007, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the Grayson County area. River North, lead by Warden Ben Wright, opened as a Security Level IV facility and will house around 1000 offenders.

Governor Bob McDonnell, Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker, Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke, and other officials as well as River North staff marked the opening of the new correctional facility at a mid-afternoon outdoor ceremony. Inmates will start moving into River North in early October.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that has been done to get this facility ready and the professional nature of our new correctional officers and Correctional Center staff,” said Warden Ben Wright. “The community has been really welcoming, and there is an understanding that what we’re doing here involves preparing offenders for successful re-entry into this and other communities in Virginia.”

Following the closing of several correctional facilities in recent years, the opening of River North will add much-needed bed space to the Virginia prison system. The new Level IV facility will contribute to the VADOC’s primary mission to improve public safety in the Commonwealth.

Following budget reductions, the VADOC closed Mecklenburg Correctional Center in 2012; James River Correctional Center in 2011; and Grayson County Medium Security Facility, Brunswick Correctional Center, and Botetourt Correctional Center in 2010. The last new correctional centers to open were Green Rock Correctional Center and Pocahontas State Correctional Center in 2007.

As of June 2013, the total average daily population in VADOC prisons was 29,883 offenders. The Probation & Parole caseload for June 2013 was 57,165.

More information on the VADOC can be found at The River North page can be found at