Beckley, W.Va. (AP) -- To ease overcrowding in West Virginia's prisons and jails, Jackie Withrow Hospital in Beckley will soon become home to 70 minimum security inmates.
Corrections commissioner Jim Rubenstein says the plan makes good sense, because the city's work-release center is already on hospital grounds.
Until last month, the state-run facility was known as Pinecrest Hospital. Rubenstein says the inmates will be housed on the fourth floor, which currently has only a few offices.
Gov. Joe Manchin says the plan matches recommendations in a report by a special commission designed to reduce crowded conditions in state jails and prisons.
By not building a new 70-bed facility, the state saves about $2 million in construction costs.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)