West Virginia

As documented by the Pew Charitable Trusts, since 2010 West Virginia has led the nation in average annual prison population growth. The state’s prison population has averaged a growth of 73% from 2000 to 2010, costing the state $169.2 million.  With such a rapid increase of inmates, as of 2012 there were more than 1,800 prisoners waiting for a bed to open up.  Also, the number of inmates sent back to prison because their release was revoked has increased 47% from 2005 to 2012, costing the state $168 million. Furthermore, the average offender completed 51% more time served than those in 1990, costing the state another $74.8 million. According to Correctionalnews.com, Senate Bill 371 was proposed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and enacted in 2013 to take steps to address these challenges and right-size the state’s prison system. The bill is projected to ease overcrowding and expand proven substance abuse programs for inmates. It creates an earned time incentive for non-violent inmates and expands  drug court programs. More drug courts were needed to address substance abuse related recidivism given that 75% of all inmates are serving their sentences due to drug related crimes.

New Jobs for West Virginia

Right on Crime | June 17, 2015
Noting a national movement, West Virginia may be joining the ranks of states that are encouraging former offenders to employment through second chances. These states are expanding the employment…

“Second Chance” Legislation is Smart Criminal Justice Reform

Greg Glod | April 10, 2015
A criminal record, however slight, can be a Scarlet Letter that an ex-offender can never shake. Background checks have never been easier to obtain because of the Internet. Combine…

West Virginia Takes Great Strides in Juvenile Justice Reform

Right on Crime | April 2, 2015
Currently 75 percent of West Virginia’s juvenile incarcerated population is housed by the state because of misdemeanor or status offenses. Status offenses are crimes that are only crimes because…

Juvenile Bills Promise New Future in West Virginia

Right on Crime | February 7, 2015
Bills have just been introduced into the West Virginia House and Senate that will significantly affect their juvenile justice system. Despite the juvenile incarceration rate dropping in almost every…

Marc Levin’s Charleston Gazette letter to the editor

Right on Crime | June 30, 2014
ROC policy director Marc Levin authored a letter to the editor of the Charleson Gazette congratulating West Virginia policymakers for implementing cost-effective juvenile justice reforms that will also increase…

West Virginia Senate Passes Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Right on Crime | March 28, 2013
A few days ago, the West Virginia State Senate passed criminal justice reform bill SB371 by an overwhelming vote of 33-0. It’s unusual for any legislative body to pass…

West Virginia Analyzing Reform Research

Right on Crime | January 29, 2013
As the law currently stands, West Virginia will be asked to come up with $340 million dollars between 2014 and 2018, all to handle an increased prison population. Fortunately,…

Supervision, Reentry Emphasized in West Virginia

Right on Crime | October 2, 2012
The state that has had the greatest increase in prison population growth in recent years—West Virginia—may be exacerbating the problem by failing to properly supervise prison inmates upon release.…

Criminal Justice System Reforms Advance in MO, OK, and WV

Right on Crime | March 12, 2012
Three states considering sentencing and system reform to save their states millions while creating more effective criminal justice policies have advanced legislation to that end, and one group—the Council…
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