Nevada prison director says dangerous inmates to be sent to Arizona | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada prison director says dangerous inmates to be sent to Arizona

Nevada's prison director says the contract with Corecivic approved Tuesday will send some of the most dangerous Nevada prison inmates out of state and free a large number of beds in his overcrowded prison system.

James Dzurenda made the comments as the Board of Examiners voted to approve the $9.29 million contract that will move 200 inmates to Arizona.

"The population we're looking at are those inmates that are the most disruptive and most dangerous based on gang activity," he told the panel consisting of Gov. Brian Sandoval, Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

Dzurenda said those are the inmates trying to recruit gang members, extorting other inmates and creasing a climate of fear among the other inmates.

He said the contract serves notice to those offenders that, "We're not going to tolerate any of this behavior."

"If they're disruptive, they will find themselves going to Arizona," he said.

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Dzurenda said their departure from Nevada's prison institutions will, in fact, free up more beds than the 200 inmates he plans to move. He said that's because 90 percent of the likely candidates for transfer are "single celled" because they're too dangerous to have a cellmate.

"If we move one of these offenders out, we get space for two people," he said.

He assured Sandoval offenders at the Arizona prison will be treated just as they are in Nevada and he's not sending any offenders with significant mental health or physical issues.

In other business, the board approved a series of contracts to move major public works projects along as quickly as possible.

The list includes two contracts for architectural and engineering services at the Stewart Facility Old Gym and Stewart Indian School Cultural and Welcome Center for a total of $184,500.

But the biggest contracts for architecture and engineering services on the list are $14.4 million for design and construction administration for the UNLV Medical School Building and $2.61 million for the same services to move construction of the new Reno DMV office forward.

Finally, the board approved a $1.64 million contract with the Washoe County Forensic Lab to increase its ability to process backlogged sexual assault kits.

The board was told so far, 3,744 of the 8,200 DNA samples in the backlog have been tested, resulting in 200 "hits" in the federal DNA registry that could eventually lead to rape convictions.

The money will enable the Washoe lab, one of just two facilities in Nevada certified by the FBI, to add personnel, equipment and supplies to expands testing and prevent the backlog from growing again.

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