On Thursday, the Pruntytown Correctional Facility near Grafton opened its doors to the public.
The center was originally the West Virginia Industrial School for Boys. It served as a juvenile facility until being closed in the 1980s. This establishment has had a lot of changes since it opened in 1891.
The facility is a minimum to medium custody jail that showed the community how it operates and just to tell them a little bit of information. Staff said that some people don't even realize that the correctional facility is no longer the school for boys.
All correctional facilities across the state have plans to hold open houses for the community and civic leaders.
"They took us on a tour, we were able to go through some of the different buildings that they have," said Robert Klepfel, the vice mayor of Grafton. "They drove us around the sites, and they explained different things that they've done, and different ways they bring the inmates in, and then put them out onto the different programs. It was very interesting."
The prison's main focus is to rehabilitate criminals back into society. Each of the 369 inmates is within 18 months of release.
"These are the folks that are going to be your neighbors and my neighbors and we want to return them to be a pro-social member of society and reduce the recidivism so they can go out and get jobs and take care of their families," said warden Debra Minnix.
About one hundred inmates work every day for various city, county and state agencies.
This provides an economical workforce for the community.
"I know all of us that are here are very grateful for the opportunity to make the tour," said Klepfel. "Like I said, we do appreciate the work that the department of corrections is doing here in this community."
The open house showed the guests what the correctional facility does on a day to day basis.
The Human Resources Department was also present to give information to people who are interested in getting a job at the facility.