H. B. 2719
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss)
[Introduced January 28, 2003; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section 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 work which may be performed by prisoners; and
providing that prisoner labor may be used to maintain private
and not-for-profit cemeteries.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section 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.
§17-5-12. 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 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 and to maintain any private and
not-for-profit cemetery, 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 court to provide for working of prisoners;
methods of discipline, etc.; working prisoners
court commission may 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 commission shall 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.
A county commission may use prisoners to perform work to
maintain private and not-for-profit cemeteries within the county.
§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 sentence of confinement, be 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 or work on private and not-for-profit cemeteries 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 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 or designee, the sheriff, his or her deputies,
correctional officers or other persons charged with inmate
supervision to perform maintenance or control litter in this state.
(c) In order to effectuate the provisions of this section, the
county commission, the sheriff or the executive director of the
West Virginia 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 provide for the use of
convict labor to maintain private and not-for-profit cemeteries.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would