H. B. 2471
(By Delegates Perry, Beach, Hartman, Pino,
Leach and Michael)
[Introduced February 17, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated section §25-1-3c,
relating to inmate funds; establishing a financial
responsibility program for inmates; and requiring wardens to
deduct a portion from inmate earnings to be used to satisfy
child support payments and legitimate court-ordered financial
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated section §25-1-3c, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. ORGANIZATION, INSTITUTIONS AND CORRECTIONS MANAGEMENT.
§25-1-3c. Financial responsibility program for inmates.
(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) There is an urgent need for vigorous enforcement of child
support, restitution and other court ordered obligations;
(2) The duty of inmates to provide for the needs of dependent
children, including their necessary food, clothing, shelter,
education and health care should not be avoided because of where
the inmate resides;
(3) A person owing a duty of child support who chooses to
engage in behaviors that result in the person becoming incarcerated
should not be able to avoid child support obligations; and
(4) Each sentenced inmate should be encouraged to meet his or
her legitimate court-ordered financial obligations.
(b) As part of the initial classification process into a
correctional facility, the Division of Corrections shall assist the
inmate in developing a financial plan for meeting the inmate's
child support obligations, if any exist. At subsequent program
reviews, the Division shall consider the inmate's efforts to
fulfill those obligations as indicative of that individual's
acceptance and demonstrated level of responsibility.
(c) (1) The warden shall deduct from the earnings of each
inmate, legitimate court-ordered financial obligations. The warden
shall also deduct child support payments from the earnings of each
inmate who has a court-ordered financial obligation. The
Commissioner of the Division of Corrections shall develop a policy
that outlines the formula for the distribution of offender earnings
and the formula shall include a fifteen percent deduction for any
child support owed under a support order.
(2) In the event that the inmate worker's earnings is subject
to garnishment for child support enforcement deductions, it shall
be calculated on the net wages after taxes, legal financial
obligations and garnishment.
(3) The Division of Corrections shall develop the necessary
administrative structure to record inmates' wages and keep records
of the amount inmates pay for child support.
(4) Nothing in this section limits the authority of the Bureau
for Child Support Enforcement of the Department of Health and Human
Resources from taking collection action against an inmate's moneys,
assets or property.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
establish a financial
responsibility program for inmates. The program would require
wardens to deduct a portion from inmate earnings to be used to
satisfy child support payments and legitimate court-ordered
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.
This bill was recommended for introduction and passage during
the 2005 legislative session by the Legislative Oversight Committee
on the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.