Gov. McDonnell: Correctional Facility is a Priority
Richmond – In a letter to Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson) yesterday, Gov. Bob McDonnell affirmed his administration’s support of the River North Correctional Facility in Grayson County, and pledged to continue to pursue options that would allow the prison to become fully operational. The letter, also sent to Del. Israel O’Quinn (R-Washington), comes after the General Assembly passed a budget that did not include language addressing the correctional facility.
“The River North project is critically important to the citizens of Grayson County and the surrounding area,” Carrico said. “While we understand the difficult economic times, it is also imperative that our government take steps to open this facility. Gov. McDonnell has heard our concerns, and has pledged to do everything he can to bring about the successful conclusion of this project. I am confident his administration will be a steady partner in this endeavor.”
The correctional facility, which was authorized and constructed before McDonnell took office, is the newest addition to Virginia’s corrections system. Carrico worked for years in the House of Delegates to ensure the prison’s construction, before being elected to the Senate last year. His successor in the House, Del. O’Quinn, has partnered with Carrico to solidify funding mechanisms in a sparse budget environment.
"I am glad the Governor is willing to work towards the opening of the prison in Grayson County,” O’Quinn said. “This is one of my top priorities and Senator Carrico and I have had numerous meetings with Public Safety officials to address our concerns. This is a big step in the right direction.”
In the letter, Gov. McDonnell twice confirms that the facility is a priority of his administration, and that he will “work to open it as soon as possible, based on the state’s finances and the projected inmate population.” He also details plans for expanding efforts to contract with other states or the Federal government for housing inmates, and outlined efforts within his cabinet to identify all possible funding sources.
“It has been a long road, and more work remains ahead of us,” Carrico said. “But, I am committed to this project for the citizens of my district, and with Gov. McDonnell’s support, I’m confident that Del. O’Quinn and I will make progress toward our ultimate goal: opening this facility and putting hundreds of Southwest Virginians to work.”