Woman Named to Head West Virginia Prison System

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Gov. Jim Justice has named a veteran of the West Virginia Division of Corrections as the first woman to head the state prison system.

Acting Commissioner Loita Butcher has been assistant commissioner and before that chief of staff.

She joined the division in 1994.

She follows Commissioner Jim Rubenstein, who has announced his retirement effective Saturday.

According to corrections authorities, the division has nearly 2,400 full-time employees, a $255 million budget and responsibility for more than 6,900 adult offenders.

It operates 16 facilities including maximum-security Mount Olive Correctional Complex and several work-release centers and supervises the state’s parolees.

The division also oversees Correctional Industries, which supplies goods and services to state agencies, county school systems and county and local governments.