Magazine article Corrections Forum

No Rush to Prison Chances

Magazine article Corrections Forum

No Rush to Prison Chances

Article excerpt

Charleston Daily Mail

West Virginia has a relatively low crime rate, a relatively low incarceration rate and a relatively high degree of anxiety about prison overcrowding. Everybody agrees something must be done. There is no meeting of the minds on how to proceed.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will ask the Justice Center at the nonpartisan Council of State Governments to take a comprehensive look at the situation. It has looked at systems in other states. The problem is this: About 1,600 people have been sentenced to prison but are currently housed in one of the state's 10 regional jails awaiting cell space.

Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein has said that even spending $200 million to build an additional prison would not solve the problem, and that the backlog of inmates in regional jails could more than double by the end of this year. A panel of legislators spent a year studying the problem and came up with a comprehensive bill to address it. …

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