CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice named Mike Coleman as acting commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Corrections Tuesday.

Coleman, who has more than 30 years with the correctional system, is succeeding Loita Butcher, who was appointed in March to oversee the state’s prison system and retired Tuesday.

Coleman recently served as Correctional Operations deputy director under state Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy.

“I am looking forward to working with employees from all levels across the agency and with Cabinet Secretary Jeff Sandy, to continue to seek improvements in working conditions and pay for our employees and operational efficiencies with our counterparts at the Regional Jail Authority and Division of Juvenile Services,” Coleman said in a press release Tuesday.

Coleman began serving in 1984, and was among the several officers taken hostage during the 1986 riot at the West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville. He began serving at the state level beginning in 2005.

Coleman will be responsible for overseeing the 16-facility system with around 2,400 full-time employees and a $255 million budget.

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