Secretary of State calls for prison board meetings | NevadaAppeal.com
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Secretary of State calls for prison board meetings

Secretary of State Ross Miller on Monday called on Gov. Jim Gibbons to begin holding regular meetings of the Board of Prison Commissioners.

He said prison overcrowding, early releases of felons to relieve overcrowding and a physical infrastructure crumbling under the weight of overcrowded facilities are all issues that are overdue to be addressed by Nevada’s Board of State Prison Commissioners.

The board has the same membership as the Board of Examiners – the governor, secretary of state and attorney general. When it meets, it usually does so in conjunction with an examiners meeting.

Miller said despite the prison crisis, which occupied much of the 2007 Legislature’s time, the board hasn’t met since July 2006.

“We’re charged with oversight,” Miller said. He said the board could consider a variety of concepts including “tent cities” to house minimum security inmates and free up beds.

“But as a first step, to see where we are, we need to start holding regular meetings.”

He made the request in a letter to Gibbons. A spokesman for Gibbons said he had not had time to review the letter yet and, until he does, would reserve comment.

Miller said he believes the board should have a regular meeting schedule and the transportation board, which are also led by the governor.

Miller said as a former prosecutor he recognizes the importance of strict enforcement of sentences, but also recognizes the need to bring some ideas to the board on how to reduce the inmate population. He said Director of Corrections Howard Skolnik is “doing an outstanding job,” but should get some guidance from the board.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.