Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

September 20, 2012

Post-prison supervision key in W.Va. inmate crisis

CHARLESTON —  West Virginia is doing a poor job supervising offenders outside of prison or jail.

That’s one finding released Thursday from the ongoing study of the state’s inmate crowding crisis.

Researchers with the Justice Reinvestment study say offenders returned to prison for violating their probation or parole are outpacing new inmate admissions.

Between 2005 and 2011, the study found that nearly 5,500 revocation cases cost the state $168 million.

The researchers say at least some of these revocations were necessary. But they also blame a failure to match offenders to the right kind of supervisions and programs. They also say that state sentencing and parole policies cause delays and other problems that contribute to that mis-matching.

West Virginia has a low incarceration rate, but leads the U.S. for prison population growth.


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