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Lakin Correctional Center

Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County is the only all-female state prison in West Virginia. With both maximum- and minimum-security units, Lakin can house up to 462 inmates.

The correctional center was constructed on land once occupied by a portion of Lakin State Hospital. To make room for the prison some hospital buildings were torn down, and the hospital activities building was incorporated into the prison as the gymnasium. Lakin Hospital—now serving geriatric patients only—operates adjacent to the correctional center.

Until Lakin Correctional Center was built, female offenders in West Virginia were housed in various facilities, including jails, converted juvenile detention centers, and leased space in federal prisons. Construction of Lakin Correctional Center began in 1999, and the facility received its first inmates on January 29, 2003. In 2005-2006, a second phase of construction included two minimum-security units with a total of 160 beds and a building where inmates produce clothing, linens, and office chairs. Inmates at Lakin also participate in educational and vocational programs provided by the West Virginia Department of Education.

Between 2000 and 2011, the number of female inmates in West Virginia increased 65 percent. In 2011, female inmates made up 11 percent of the prison population in the state.