Other alleged problems include a lack of locked grievance boxes in each unit, and denying phone calls to family and attorneys.
Thornton said there could be truth to some of the allegations. He argues as a whole the corrections industry has "significant staffing challenges" that could lead to some of the issues outlined in the motion.
At any given time, Thornton said the center could be three or seven staff members short. That's only amplified by the forced closure of the Industrial Home, he said.
In March the state announced it would close the youth facility and reopen it as an adult facility July 1. The state also pledged to move the Jones Center inmates.
That's proving difficult. Officials had promised to look for a replacement close to the current location, but now they are having an issue finding anywhere that's suitable in the state.
"I can't just buy a hotel and stick them in it," Thornton said.
The Jones Center is the only location of its kind in the state. Any new facility needs to meet physical requirements - Thornton said the offenders would punch holes in drywall, for example -and needs to offer appropriate programming to help the offenders.
Jones Center employees know about the problems, and some have left over them. Industrial Home workers were offered the chance to transition to the adult facility, prompting more Jones Center employees to leave.
The state had plenty of time to prepare for the transition, Milnes said.
"That wasn't a secret that that was going to happen," Milnes said. "I believe everyone was aware that was going to happen, and there were no steps taken to address that."
Overall, Thornton said the transition at the Industrial Home is going well. All of the offenders were sent to other facilities in June. Those requiring maximum to medium security were sent to the "Chick" Buckbee Juvenile Center in Hampshire County.
The adult Salem Correctional Center is set to open Aug. 1. It's expected to eventually house 350 to 400 inmates and employ about the same number as the Industrial Home, Thornton said.
Aboulhosn is expected to ask for an update on the Industrial Home at today's hearing, but Milnes said the focus would be on her emergency motion. She expects more details to emerge today.
The state, represented by the Office of the Attorney General, was still working Tuesday afternoon on its official response. The hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in the visiting judge's courtroom in the Kanawha County Judicial Annex.
Other Top Headlines