Senate Bill No. 183
(By Senators Love, Sharpe, White, Yoder, Hunter and Unger)
[Introduced February 14, 2005; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §25-1-3a of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to inmate accounts and property;
and authorizing the warden of a correctional facility to allow
an inmate to withdraw money from the inmate's mandatory
savings account for the purpose of preparing the inmate for
reentry into society.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §25-1-3a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. ORGANIZATION, INSTITUTIONS AND CORRECTIONS MANAGEMENT.
§25-1-3a. Trustee accounts and funds, earnings and personal
property of inmates.
(a) The Commissioner of Corrections is authorized to establish
at each institution under his or her jurisdiction a "Trustee Fund".
The warden or administrator of each institution shall receive and take charge of the money and personal property, as defined by
policy, of all inmates in his or her institution and all money or
personal property, as defined by policy, sent to the inmates or
earned by the inmates as compensation for work performed while they
are domiciled there. The warden or administrator shall credit the
money and earnings to the inmate entitled to it and shall keep an
accurate account of all the money and personal property so
received, which account is subject to examination by the
Commissioner of Corrections. The warden or administrator shall
deposit the moneys in one or more responsible banks in accounts to
be designated a "Trustee Fund".
(b) For all inmates, except those serving life without mercy
and those the warden determines are likely to serve the remainder
of their natural lives in the custody of the Division of
Corrections due to their age and the length of their sentences, the
warden or administrator shall keep in an account at least ten
percent of all money earned during the inmate's incarceration and
pay the money to the inmate at the time of the inmate's release.
The warden may authorize the inmate to withdraw money from his or
her mandatory savings for the purpose of preparing the inmate for
reentry into society.
(c) The Commissioner of Corrections may direct that offenders
who work in community work programs, including work release inmates
who have obtained employment, make reimbursement to the state
toward the cost of his or her incarceration.
(d)(1) Prior to ordering an incarcerated offender to make
reimbursement toward the costs of his or her incarceration, the
Commissioner, or his or her designee, shall consider the following:
(A) The offender's ability to pay;
(B) The nature and extent of the offender's responsibilities
to his or her dependents, if any;
(C) The length of probable incarceration under the court's
(D) The effect, if any, that reimbursement might have on the
(2) No order of reimbursement entered pursuant to this section
may exceed five hundred dollars per month unless the offender gives
his or her express consent.
(3) The Commissioner of Corrections shall, prior to the
beginning of each fiscal year, prepare a report that details the
average cost per inmate incurred by the Division for the care and
supervision of those individuals in his or her custody.
(e) The chief executive officer of any correctional
institution, on request of an inmate, may expend up to one half of
the money earned by the inmate on behalf of the family of the
inmate if the ten percent mandatory savings has first been set
aside and other fees owed by the inmate have been paid. The
remainder of the money earned, after deducting amounts expended as
authorized, shall be accumulated to the credit of the inmate and be
paid to the inmate at times as may be prescribed by rules. The funds so accumulated on behalf of inmates shall be held by the
chief executive officer of each institution under a bond approved
by the Attorney General.
(f) The warden or administrator shall deliver to the inmate at
the time he or she leaves the institution, or as soon as
practicable after departure, all personal property, moneys and
earnings then credited to the inmate, or in case of the death of
the inmate before authorized release from the institution, the
warden or administrator shall deliver the property to the inmate's
personal representative. In case a conservator is appointed for
the inmate while he or she is domiciled at the institution, the
warden or administrator shall deliver to the conservator, upon
proper demand, all moneys and personal property belonging to the
inmate that are in the custody of the warden or administrator.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the warden of
a correctional facility to allow an inmate to withdraw money from
the mandatory ten percent savings account for the purpose of
preparing the inmate for reentry into society.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would
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.)