named acting commissioner of W.Va. prison system
W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice has named Loita Butcher as acting
commissioner of the W.Va. Division of Corrections, the first woman to oversee
the state’s prison system.
Butcher is a veteran of the agency, having
most recently served as assistant commissioner and prior to that as chief of
staff. She first joined the Division of Corrections in March 1994, and her
career in law enforcement and public safety spans more than three decades.
“Loita Butcher has been a valued leader
within the Division of Corrections, and is dedicated to carrying out its vital
mission,” Cabinet Secretary Jeff Sandy said. “She is committed to eliminating
drugs and other contraband to ensure a secure and safe correctional system.”
Butcher succeeds Jim Rubenstein, who
earlier announced his retirement effective April 1, 2017.
“I am honored to accept the appointment as
Acting Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Corrections,” Butcher
said. “I want to thank Governor Justice and Secretary Sandy for their confidence
in my abilities to undertake this challenge. I am confident that with the
support and hard work of the dedicated employees of our agency, we can move the
Division of Corrections to higher levels of excellence.”
The Division of Corrections is the largest
agency within the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, with nearly
2,400 full-time employees and a $255 million budget. It operates 16 facilities
around the state, including the maximum-security Mount Olive Correctional
Complex as well as several work-release centers.
More than 6,900 adult offenders are
currently sentenced to the Division of Corrections, which also 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.