Senate Bill No. 54
(By Senator Manchin)
[Introduced January 15, 1996; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend article five, chapter twenty-eight of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
forty-one, relating to allowing circuit courts to order
reimbursement of costs of imprisonment; order to act as a
civil judgment; allowing recovery of such costs from the
valuables or personal property of prisoner; commissioner of
corrections to determine average annual costs of
imprisonment; and placing limit on order of reimbursement.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article five, chapter twenty-eight of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
forty-one, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. THE PENITENTIARY.
§28-5-41. Order of reimbursement for costs of imprisonment;
criteria; judgment; and report by commissioner.
(a) Whenever a judge of a circuit court of this state at
final disposition determines to sentence a convicted offender to
the custody of the commissioner of corrections for service of a
sentence of imprisonment, the court, in addition to any penalties
and costs assessable against the offender provided by this code,
may direct that the offender make reimbursement to the state of
West Virginia towards the cost of his or her imprisonment.
(b) Prior to ordering an imprisoned offender to make
reimbursement towards the costs of his or her imprisonment, the
court shall consider the following:
(1) The offender's ability to pay;
(2) The nature and extent of the offender's responsibilities
to his or her dependents, if any;
(3) The length of probable incarceration under the court's
(4) The effect, if any, that reimbursement might have on the offender's rehabilitation.
Any order of the court directing reimbursement shall contain
findings of fact with regard to the criteria set forth in this
(c) An order of reimbursement by the court pursuant to this
section shall operate as a civil judgment in favor of the state
of West Virginia from the date of its entry. The division of
corrections may seek reimbursement pursuant to the order from the
money, valuables or other personal property of the individual.
(d) The commissioner of corrections shall, prior to the
beginning of each fiscal year, prepare a report which details the
average cost per inmate incurred by the division for the care and
supervision of those individuals in his or her custody.
(e) No order of reimbursement entered pursuant to this
section may exceed five hundred dollars per month unless upon the
express consent of the offender.
NOTE: This bill would allow a court to order convicts to pay
the cost of their imprisonment and food.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.