Senate Bill No. 177
(Senators Love, Dawson, Ball, Mitchell, Hunter and Sprouse, original
[Passed March 11, 2000; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to repeal section six, article five, chapter twenty-eight of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-
one, as amended; and to amend and reenact section three-a,
article one, chapter twenty-five of said code, relating to
inmate funds; requiring commissioner to make an annual report
regarding the average cost of incarceration; and authorizing
the division of corrections to collect certain costs from
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section six, article five, chapter twenty-eight of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be repealed; and that section three-a, article one, chapter twenty-five of said code, be amended and reenacted to read
ARTICLE 1. ORGANIZATION AND INSTITUTIONS.
§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 such money and personal property so
received, which account is subject to examination by the state
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,
the warden or administrator shall keep in an account at least ten
percent of all money earned during the inmate's incarceration and pay same to the inmate at the time of the inmate's release.
(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
towards the cost of his or her incarceration.
(d) (1) Prior to ordering an incarcerated offender to make
reimbursement towards 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 thereafter, 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.