Dental floss may prevent toothaches, but it's given jailers plenty of headaches.

Published in Current Events


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- From the outside, the newest addition to West Virginia's correctional system looks a lot like the Holiday Inn it once was, before a highway reconfiguration in Parkersburg cut it off from most of its customers.

Published in Prison Legal News

Posted: Jan 10, 2012 11:05 AM EST Updated: Jan 17, 2012 11:05 AM EST By Kevin Howell, Assistant News Director l

West Virginia Legislature Building

 CHARLESTON,WVA pair of legislative committees endorsed the idea of a new state prison Tuesday in Charleston.

Now, the West Virginia legislature will decide whether to call for a new 1,200-cell, medium-security prison.

The House and Senate Judiciary committees votes, which were not unanimous, follow the release of a special commission study of inmate overcrowding.

Because West Virginia state prisons are full, more than 2,100 convicted felons are housed in regional jails rather than prisons. That leaves regional jails with more inmates than they were designed to hold.

The Legislature's regular 60-day session begins Wednesday.


Published in Current Events
Updated 11:08 a.m., Thursday, May 26, 2011

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia is installing 400 additional bunks in regional jails to ease overcrowding that has forced some inmates to sleep on mattresses on cell floors.

The overcrowding is due to an overflow of inmates awaiting transfer to prisons, which don't have space for them.

The additional 400 bunks are the maximum number that can be installed in the regional jails, said Joe DeLong, deputy secretary of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

"We don't have any room to put in any more bunks. At some point, we can't even put in enough bunks to accommodate all of them," DeLong told The Register-Herald.

Published in Current Events

LAWRENCE MESSINA  Associated Press
First Posted: May 16, 2011 - 5:28 pm
Last Updated: May 16, 2011 - 7:40 pm

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Inmates released from the West Virginia prison system are less likely to commit new crimes than those in nearly every other state, but the low recidivism rate alone cannot offset the projected worsening of its overcrowding crisis, lawmakers learned Monday.

Brad Douglas, director of Research and Planning for the state Division of Corrections, pegged West Virginia's recidivism rate at 26.8 percent in 2004. A national study conducted with that year's data ranks that rate the fourth-lowest among states, Douglas said. Just five states had rates lower than 30 percent, and the U.S. average was 43 percent, he told the Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary.

Published in Prison Legal News

Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011 ; 04:22 PM
Updated Thursday, May 12, 2011; 09:32 AM
By Mike Ruben

Inmates working for West Virginia Correctional Industries earn between 25 cents and $1.15 per hour.

MOUNT OLIVE -- It's a 72-year-old enterprise with an $8 million budget and 200 employees at eight locations. Customers can view the diverse product line and place orders from a website or personally peruse the merchandise on display in a new showroom.

The workforce, though, is what differentiates this endeavor. West Virginia Correctional Industries employs murderers, rapists, drug dealers and other convicted felons who are serving time in prisons across the state.

Yes, vehicle license plates have historically been and continue to be the staple product of inmate labor. The plating room at the maximum security Mount Olive Correctional Complex in Fayette County produces as many as 5,000 license plates per day and 685,000 per year.

Published in Prisoner Support