Nevada DOC Recommends State Prison Closure
(11/02/2010)

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Prison officials here say $9 million a year could be saved annually if the Nevada State Prison in Carson City was closed and turned into a tourist attraction or training center, according to reports.

In promoting efficiency in state government, Nevada Department of Corrections Director Howard Skolnik said other prisons could house the more than 600 inmates presently at Nevada State Prison, the state would not need to build another prison for 10 years. Money saved from the closure could be put into other areas, such as education.

In his proposed budget submitted to Gov. Jim Gibbons, Skolnik not only called for the prison to be closed, but suggested the elimination of extra pay for those officers working in rural areas.

Skolnik said he reduced the extra pay for rural officers to get within the 10 percent reduction ordered by the governor. He also recommended a one-time $15 charge for a person who visits an inmate, which would cover part of the background check cost. The downturn in the economy has also nixed a plan to build an industrial park in Clark County on 22 acres the prison owns.

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Nevada Correctional Officers Association President Gene Columbus questioned how much money could be saved and predicted that eliminating extra pay would result in a “mass exodus” of workers.

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