CHILLICOTHE — Hundreds of inmates are settling in to the new women's prison in Chillicothe, which was built to ease overcrowding as the number of female offenders grows.
The Missouri Department of Corrections said the transfer was completed early Friday, more than two years after ground was broken on the 1,636-inmate facility. The women were transferred from the 121-year-old Chillicothe prison, which held 525 prisoners.
The new facility will help relieve crowding at the women's prison in Vandalia, which was designed for 1,460 inmates, about 500 fewer than the current population.
Missouri's female prisoner count has risen 150 percent during the past 10 years to about 2,500.
The new prison will employ 562 workers, with a payroll of about $16 million.
At the time of the groundbreaking, the project carried a $120 million price tag.