CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein said Monday the division is waiting on the Governor's Office to review what he called a favorable cost proposal for a contract to house up to 400 West Virginia inmates in a private prison in Kentucky.
Corrections Corporation of America, in its cost proposal, submitted a cost of $59.80 per inmate per day to house inmates at its Lee Adjustment Center, near Hazard, Ky.
Rubenstein said that amount was lower than anticipated, and also lower than the roughly $65-a-day cost to house an inmate in West Virginia prisons.
"I was thinking it was going to be somewhere in the low 60s," he said.
Rubenstein said the Governor's Office asked to review the bid proposal, but said that between preparations for the State of the State address and the nine-county water crisis, the timeline for that review has been pushed back.
"The governor wanted to look at it as well to see if it's fiscally responsible," Rubenstein said. "We should know in a week or so whether we will be moving forward with this."
Because of overcrowding, about 1,300 Division of Corrections inmates are housed in regional jails around the state, where they do not have access to the counseling and educational courses required to qualify for parole.
The division put out a request for bids to any out-of-state correctional facilities that would have excess capacity, and that could provide all programming required for inmates to become parole eligible.