Although the actual change is a joint effort with the governor's office and several corrections agencies, Tomblin needs help with the legislation. While governors can never introduce a bill, the executive is not allowed to have the leadership from either chamber introduce legislation on his or her behalf after the first 10 days of any legislative session, Markham said.
"Our immediate goal will be to find sponsors for the legislation," Markham said.
He didn't mention any legislators in particular, or say whether the bill would be introduced in the House or Senate.
Alsop touted the bill as, among other things, a way to address the problem with overcrowded jails and prisons in the state. Legislation from the governor that also aims to alleviate some of those concerns remains in the Senate.
Wherever the Salem bill is introduced, Markham expects it to happen sometime this week.
"As long as we can get this legislation passed, we hope to have the facility closed as a juvenile facility and reopened as a correctional facility as soon as possible," Markham said.
The switch is slated for completion by July 1.
Another facility, the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center for juvenile sex offenders, will remain open on the property for now. Alsop said the state was still working on a plan for the facility, but it could continue to function on the site even after the Salem Correctional Center opens. The state hopes to eventually incorporate the treatment center into the adult facility, Alsop said.
Markham said he did not think this legislation would address how the Jones center would become a part of the adult facility.
Employees at the Salem facility were told Friday about the decision. They have the option to remain at the center and receive the training needed to work at an adult facility or transfer to other juvenile corrections locations, Alsop said.
The state is working on individual assessments for the 49 remaining offenders at Salem in order to determine the best new location within the state juvenile system for each person, he added.