CARSON CITY -- State Corrections Director Greg Cox said Friday he will not move the license plate factory out of the closed Nevada State Prison to another site before July 1, 2013.
Cox told the Legislature's Interim Committee on Industrial Programs that he is still working with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Administration to find a site. Inmates have produced license plates at the old site since 1928.
The 145-year-old Nevada State Prison was closed in January as a way for the state to save an estimated $15 million. But about 20 minimum-security inmates from the Stewart Conservation Camp are brought each weekday to the old prison to work at the plate factory on the prison grounds. In an earlier meeting, officials mentioned the factory might be moved to the High Desert State Prison near Indian Springs.
The Corrections Department spent about $12,000 to move a print shop in the Nevada State Prison to the Northern Nevada Correctional Center about three miles away. The cost of relocating the license plate factory is not yet known.
Cox also told the committee he plans to continue to use the Nevada State Prison for executions. Since 1924, 43 inmates have been killed there by lethal injection or gas.
No one has been executed in Nevada since 2006.
Gus Nunez, the state Public Works Board manager, said last year that it would cost $29.9 million to bring the prison up to code. He said the execution chamber doesn't meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards.
He has looked at putting the execution chamber at the maximum-security Ely State Prison, which has housed the state's most dangerous inmates and its death row since 1989.
Cox told legislators he continues looking for ways to use the Nevada State Prison.
He wants officials in West Virginia to consider staging a mock prison riot at the Nevada State Prison. It is an annual event now held at the decommissioned West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville where corrections and law enforcement personnel receive training on dealing with prison disturbances. This year's mock riot will be held in May.
There has been talk of using the old prison as a museum, a movie location or selling it to Carson City.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3900.