Authority plans to expand 3 SW Va. regional jails - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Authority plans to expand 3 SW Va. regional jails

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ABINGDON, Va. (AP) -- Officials with the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail system will be visiting 10 localities in the coming weeks to ask for funding to help pay for an expansion project.

Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority superintendent Steve Clear says the project would add a total 512 beds at jails in Abingdon, Haysi and Duffield.

Clear tells the Bristol Herald Courier that the General Assembly allocated about $17 million for the $34 million project in 2011. Funding for the remaining half would come from local governments.

Jail officials plan to visit Washington, Smyth, Russell, Tazewell, Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Wise and Scott counties, and the city of Norton, this month and in April.

Clear says the jails aren't overcrowded. But the inmate population is expected to grow over the next decade.

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