Corrections director quizzed over plans for license plate |

Corrections director quizzed over plans for license plate

Corrections Director Greg Cox was quizzed Thursday over conflicting reports about plans for the license plate plant at the Nevada State Prison.

“Why was there one discussion during session and then we’re barely out of session and there’s a plan to do something else?” asked IFC Chairman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks.

The plan discussed during the 2011 Legislature was that when NSP finally closed in April, the “tag plant” would remain there, operated by minimum security inmates.

But talk recently has indicated Cox instead plans to move it to either the Northern Nevada Correctional Center at Carson City’s southern border or to High Desert State Prison near Las Vegas.

Cox said plans are now to keep the plant where it is while the administration studies whether there is funding to relocate it.

The major problem is that the license plate stamping equipment can’t be removed from its home at NSP without removing the roof and having it lifted out by cranes – a costly prospect.

In addition, DMV would have costs in making that move.

“If the funding source isn’t there, then we have a current plan to deal with that,” Cox said.

On the other side of the coin are the costs associated with keeping the plant at NSP instead of just shutting down the old prison.

Cox is now moving to have all inmates out of NSP by Jan. 9. Asked about that, he told the Interim Finance Committee the prison is down to just 140 inmates but that he can’t reduce the 73 staff further without compromising security of the prison’s extensive perimeter.

He told IFC he is moving those employees into vacant positions in other area prisons, but since they are physically at NSP, that is causing staff shortages at those institutions and overtime.

That is how he is avoiding layoffs of NSP staff and, thus far, successfully.

Cox told her there are no layoffs and no one is being forced to transfer out of the area.

Smith said it makes sense to shut down before the April 1 deadline “if you’re able to place all those folks we were concerned about.”