SALEM, W.Va. — The first of the adult inmates that will be housed at the Salem Correctional Center in Harrison County are in the process of being moved into the facility.

State Division of Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein said the transfers started Monday.

Thirty inmates are scheduled to move into the Salem site this week and, beginning next week, around 60 inmates will be transferred into the facility each week until all 388 spaces in the minimum security site are filled.

“By the end of the year, we’ll have the facility full and operational,” Rubenstein told MetroNews.

Most of the inmates are being transferred in from the Huttonsville Correctional Center, St. Marys Correctional Center and Denmar Correctional Center.

“We’ve done many moves over the years so we feel that this will go without a hitch,” said Rubenstein.  In addition to more beds, he said the site will also open up more space for drug treatment and educational programs aimed at preparing inmates for reentry into society.

“Salem Correctional Center really helps us in a number of ways,” he said.

On July 1, the former Salem Home for Youth became the Salem Correctional Center, under the Division of Corrections, and renovation work started to prepare the site for adult inmates.  The opening of the facility was delayed a number of times because of that work.

Rubenstein said many of the youth employees have since opted to stay at Salem and been trained to work with adults.

The Legislature approved the transition from kids to adults in Harrison County earlier this year.  The last of the juveniles being held at the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center on the Salem property were moved to other facilities last month.

Earlier this year, Mercer County Circuit Judge Omar Aboulhosn ordered those moves because of conditions at the facility following a lawsuit from Mountain State Justice alleging a number of problems.

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