Senate Bill No. 566
(By Senators Wills and Foster)
[Introduced February 10, 2012; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §25-1-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to authorizing the Commissioner of Corrections to contract with nonprofit and charitable entities for the operation of work-release and transitional housing for inmates in the commissioner’s custody; requiring that any facilities which participate meet standards and criteria set by the commissioner; and allowing for direct placement of inmates in work-release and transitional housing by order of the circuit court.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §25-1-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. ORGANIZATION, INSTITUTIONS AND CORRECTIONS MANAGEMENT.
§25-1-3. Institutions managed by Commissioner of Corrections; certain institutions transferred to Department of Health and Human Resources; establishment of work and study release units; contracting with certain entities for reentry and direct placement services.
(a) The Commissioner of Corrections shall manage, direct, control and govern the following penal or correctional institutions and any others placed under his or her jurisdiction or control:
Mount Olive Correctional Complex;
Huttonsville Correctional Center;
Anthony Correctional Center;
Denmar Correctional Center;
Pruntytown Correctional Center;
Northern West Virginia Correctional Center;
St. Marys Correctional Center;
Lakin Correctional Center;
Ohio County Correctional Center;
Beckley Correctional Center; and
Martinsburg Correctional Center.
(b) The Commissioner of Corrections is authorized to may contract with the county commission of McDowell County to house and incarcerate inmates at the Stevens Correctional Center consistent with all requirements and standards governing the Division of Corrections.
(c) Jurisdiction of and title to the West Virginia Children's Home at Elkins are hereby transferred to the Department of Health and Human Resources, which is the custodian of all deeds and other muniments of title to the property and shall record those that are susceptible of recordation to be recorded in the proper offices. Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the West Virginia Children's Home shall be managed and controlled by a superintendent appointed by the Commissioner of the Division of Human Services.
(d) The commissioner is authorized to may establish work and study release units as extensions and subsidiaries of those state institutions under his or her control and authority. The work and study release units may be coeducational and shall be managed, directed and controlled as provided in this article.
(e) The commissioner may contract with nonprofit and charitable entities operating half-way houses or transitional housing facilities for the placement of persons in the commissioner’s custody whether within custody or upon parole supervision as long as such facilities meet standards and criteria established by the commissioner. Circuit courts may, as an alternative to incarceration in a jail or correctional facility, order a convicted person to serve his or her sentence in a facility authorized by the provisions of this subsection, as a condition of probation: Provided, That in any case in which an individual has been ordered by a circuit court to serve his or her sentence or any part thereof in a half-way house or transitional housing facility, the county from which the inmate is committed shall pay a per-diem rate set by the Division of Corrections which shall be held in a special revenue account used to offset the costs to the Division of Corrections for half-way houses or transitional houses. Nothing in this section prohibits the Division of Corrections from charging any inmate it places within half-way houses a sum calculated to offset the costs as well: Provided, That the division finds the inmate has the ability to pay all or a part of his or her costs of placement in a half-way house or transitional housing.
(f) Any person employed by the Office of Public Institutions who on the effective date of this article is a classified civil service employee shall, within the limits contained in section two, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code, remain in the civil service system as a covered employee.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Commissioner of Corrections to contract with nonprofit and charitable organizations for work-release and inmate reentry services. The bill also allows circuit courts to directly place convicted defendants in such facilities.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.