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West Virginia prison system gets new commissioner

October 31, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Jim Justice has named a former prison guard who rose through the ranks to be the new acting corrections commissioner for West Virginia.

Mike Coleman replaces Loita Butcher, who is retiring.

According to state officials, Coleman began his career as a corrections officer in 1984 and was among those taken hostage in the New Year’s Day riot at the Moundsville penitentiary two years later.

He was a guard for a decade and most recently was deputy director of correctional operations for Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy.

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

It has nearly 2,400 full-time employees, a $255 million budget and supervises more than 7,100 adult offenders.

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