SALEM, W. Va. — Progress is steady on the task of transitioning the West Virginia Industrial Home for Youth to the Salem Correctional Center. The Division of Corrections will be taking control of the Industrial Home from the Division of Juvenile Services on Aug. 1, 2013. The original date was set for July 1.
The Industrial Home for Youth currently houses males ages 10-21 and females ages 12-21. The Industrial Home “seeks to facilitate change in prior thinking patterns, wishing to inspire young minds to consider adoption of new, more effective behaviors and attitudes,” according to Joseph Merendino, superintendent. The inmates at the juvenile center will be moved to various other centers when the facility changes hands to the Division of Corrections.
The first round of new inhabitants for the Salem Correctional Center will include adult males only. The first round of inmates will be 200 minimum- to medium-security prisoners. A total of 400 male inmates will eventually be housed at the new correctional center. The 113-year-old campus will house inmates in Building A as well as two others.
The Division of Corrections is anticipating that over 200 staff positions will be available when the new correctional center is fully established as well. Training is currently in session for on-site correctional officers through the West Virginia Corrections Academy. Commissioner Jim Rubenstein said in a statement, “right now, we have about 140 staff who we’re doing the paperwork on and training.” Rubenstein said that the Division of Corrections is also conducting interviews for current employees looking to transfer to different jobs at the new correctional center.