H. B. 2033
(By Delegates Coleman and Cann)
[Introduced January 8, 2003; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections one and twelve, article five,
chapter seventeen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and reenact
sections three and four, article fifteen of said chapter, all
relating to making the state convict road force mandatory; how
it is to be used; work that may be performed by convicts other
than on state road force; and county convict forces.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections one and twelve, article five, chapter seventeen
of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that sections three and
four, article fifteen of said chapter be amended and reenacted, all
to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. STATE CONVICT ROAD FORCE.
§17-5-1. State convict road force; how used.
All male or female persons convicted of felony and sentenced
to imprisonment or confinement in the
correctional facility by any court, or who may hereafter be
sentenced for a felony, whether actually sentenced to labor or not,
or so many thereof as may be required by the state road
commissioner, shall, as incident to such the sentence or
confinement, constitute the state convict road force and as such
may shall be employed under the supervision of the state road
commissioner in building, surfacing and maintaining roads under the
supervision of the state road commissioner, including all roads in
the state road system, and in and about any quarries, gravel pits,
sandbanks, crushers, brick kilns or other plants and places
operated by the state road commission for the manufacture and
acquisition of materials for use in the construction, maintenance
and repair of such the roads.
§17-5-12. Work which may be performed by convicts other than on
state road force.
Convicts of either sex not employed in the state convict road
force as provided by article five, chapter seventeen,
may shall be
employed by the warden under the directions of the state
commissioner of public institutions in work for the state
penitentiary correctional facility or any farm now or hereafter
under control of the state and in work for any public, nonprofit
enterprise or program sponsored by the state or any of its governmental subdivisions, but such convicts actually confined
within the penitentiary state correctional facility and not
available for outside work shall as far as possible, be used in the
making of articles required by the state departments and
institutions. The warden may charge the various state departments
and institutions for such convict-made supplies the actual costs of
the materials used in the manufacture of the articles furnished
them and, in addition thereto, an amount sufficient to defray the
maintenance cost of the prisoners employed in such this manufacture
and to keep in repair with suitable replacements the machinery,
tools and appliances used in the manufacture of such these
articles, to the extent of the fair market price thereof, the
amount of which shall be stated by the state commissioner of public
institutions. Any articles and supplies so manufactured and not
required by the state departments and institutions may be sold by
the warden to municipalities and counties and the agencies thereof,
or to federal agencies, upon the same terms and conditions, but in
no event shall such may these articles be sold to private persons,
firms or corporations, or be sold or consumed otherwise than by
public departments and institutions of government.
shall does not impair any contracts now existing
between the state commissioner of public institutions and any
person, firm or corporation for the use of convict labor for
manufacturing within the walls of the penitentiary state correctional facility, nor prevent the hiring of convicts either
within or without the walls as otherwise provided by this article.
ARTICLE 15. COUNTY CONVICT ROAD FORCE.
§17-15-3. County commission to provide for working of prisoners;
methods of discipline, etc.; working prisoners
court may commission shall provide for the working
of prisoners, and shall provide for their safekeeping while
working, and to this end the border lines of the county shall
constitute and be considered the walls of the jail, and the
representative of the county court commission having such this work
in charge is authorized to shall adopt safe and humane methods of
discipline and protection to enforce the provisions of this article
and to prevent the escape of the prisoners.
court shall commission may not employ prisoners
outside the county where they are convicted or imprisoned except on
the same terms and conditions and under the same rules and
regulations as govern their employment within the county in which
they were convicted.
§17-15-4. Work by prisoners; relief of sheriffs and others from
liability for injuries, etc.
(a) Any person convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced
to confinement in a county or regional jail,
shall as incident to
such a sentence of confinement, be is required to perform labor within the jail, as a trustee or otherwise, or in and upon the
buildings, grounds, institutions, roads, bridges, streams or other
public works of the county or the area within which the regional
jail is located if he or she meets the following criteria:
Such person Is at least eighteen years of age;
Such person Is physically and mentally sound and has not
been exempted for medical reasons from such work by a licensed
physician or other medical professional; and
Such person Is considered by the county commission, the
sheriff or the executive director of the West Virginia regional
jail authority or designee not to pose a threat to the community if
released for work purposes.
(b) The work described in
the subsection (a) of this section
shall be performed under the supervision, care and custody of the
county commission, the executive director of the West Virginia
regional jail authority of designee, the sheriff, his or her
deputies, correctional officers or other persons charged with
inmate supervision to perform maintenance or control litter in this
(c) In order to effectuate the provisions of this section the
county commission, the sheriff or the executive director of the
West Virginia the regional jail and correctional facility authority
or designee shall promulgate rules for the safe and useful
employment of inmate labor.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the
contrary, the county commission, its members and agents, the
executive director of the West Virginia regional jail authority or
designee, its members or agents, the sheriff, his or her deputies,
correctional officers and agents
shall be are immune from liability
of any kind for accidents, injuries or death to such an inmate
except for accident, injury or death resulting directly from gross
negligence or malfeasance.
(e) The sheriff of the county in which the work is to be
performed, with the approval of the county commission, or the
executive director of the West Virginia regional jail authority or
designee, may hire or appoint any personnel necessary for the
supervision of inmate labor.
(f) Nothing in this section
shall may be construed to allow
the use of inmate labor for private projects or as contract
employees of for profit businesses.
(g) Any inmate who performs work pursuant to the provisions of
this section shall receive as sole and full compensation therefor,
a reduction in his or her term of incarceration of not more than
twenty-five percent of the original sentence excluding any other
statutorily granted "good time." Each eight-hour period of
shall entitle entitles an inmate to one day's
sentence reduction. Provided, That Any "good time" earned
pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be is in addition to any other reduction of sentence the inmate may accumulate.
(h) Any person being held as a detainee or for contempt may
voluntarily participate in
such the labor as provided for in this
section under the terms and conditions hereinbefore set forth.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make the state convict
road force mandatory. It also pertains to other work that must be
performed by the convict road force, together with work required by
prisoners in county or regional jails.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would