Date Requested:March 02, 2010
Time Requested:04:58 PM
Agency: Corrections
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
Comm. Sub. Eng. SB218
CBD Subject: EARLY PAROLE ELIGIBILITY
FUND(S)
Sources of Revenue
General Fund
Legislation creates:
Neither Program nor Fund

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    • Using an inmate’s most serious crime, as of June 30, 2009, the WVDOC has almost 2, 000 inmates that could be eligible for the proposed early parole program. However, many inmates have violent or ineligible crimes in their background (or recent disciplinary events) that could preclude their acceptance into the program. A rough estimate would be that approximately 1,000 inmates could be appropriate for the program.
    • Additionally, the bill gives the WVDOC the authority to approve an inmate’s participation in the program. For instance, if an inmate appears to be eligible, but a file review reveals that the inmate has a long history of violence or psychological/risk assessments would indicate that this inmate would be inappropriate; the division can decline to accept them into the program. The inmate would still be parole eligible as normal when their sentence calculation permits but would not be accepted into the accelerated parole program.
    • The bill allows appropriate inmates accelerated parole eligibility based on their own performance and willingness to change. Inmates will be assessed using standardized and validate risk and needs assessments, these assessments will highlight the areas of an inmate’s life, understanding, or circumstances that contribute to criminality or recidivism. A case plan will be designed using this information that is focused on addressing the inmate’s specific issues. Only when an inmate has successfully completed all aspects of their program plan will they be eligible for accelerated parole consideration.
    • At this point it is impossible to predict exactly how many inmates will be eligible for the program, apply, be accepted, or successfully complete their program plan. However, this proposal gives the division the ability to have a positive impact on the prison overcrowding issue by accelerating the release of appropriate inmates if they prove they are committed to doing the right things to address the issues that lead to their criminality.
    • The bill also includes provisions to streamline the home plans process and allows the parole board to hold hearing contingent on home plan or program completion.
    Fiscal Impact: As stated above, it is difficult to predict exactly how many inmates would be eligible for the program, apply, be accepted or successfully complete their program plan. However, if we assume that 200 inmates were released on average 3 months earlier (90 days) than they would have before the creation of this program, the State of West Virginia could expect to save up to $855,000 in jail fees. That estimate is based on the $47.50 per Diem RJA cost x 200 inmates x 90 days= $855,000. If more inmates were released or were released earlier the State would realize more savings, if fewer inmates were released or they were released later then the amount saved would decrease.
    Implementation costs would include the hiring of 10 parole officers to accommodate increased parole case loads, which has been estimated to cost $378,760 annually (includes salary, benefits, and office supplies/expenses). These 10 officers have been hired already using vacant Correctional Officer slots this cost would be reimbursing the used Correctional Officer slots back to prior levels.
    

Fiscal Note Detail
Over-all effect
Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2010
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2011
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 0 0
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
    


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Loita C. Butcher
Email Address:
Loita.C.Butcher@wv.gov
    • Using an inmate’s most serious crime, as of June 30, 2009, the WVDOC has almost 2, 000 inmates that could be eligible for the proposed early parole program. However, many inmates have violent or ineligible crimes in their background (or recent disciplinary events) that could preclude their acceptance into the program. A rough estimate would be that approximately 1,000 inmates could be appropriate for the program.
    • Additionally, the bill gives the WVDOC the authority to approve an inmate’s participation in the program. For instance, if an inmate appears to be eligible, but a file review reveals that the inmate has a long history of violence or psychological/risk assessments would indicate that this inmate would be inappropriate; the division can decline to accept them into the program. The inmate would still be parole eligible as normal when their sentence calculation permits but would not be accepted into the accelerated parole program.
    • The bill allows appropriate inmates accelerated parole eligibility based on their own performance and willingness to change. Inmates will be assessed using standardized and validate risk and needs assessments, these assessments will highlight the areas of an inmate’s life, understanding, or circumstances that contribute to criminality or recidivism. A case plan will be designed using this information that is focused on addressing the inmate’s specific issues. Only when an inmate has successfully completed all aspects of their program plan will they be eligible for accelerated parole consideration.
    • At this point it is impossible to predict exactly how many inmates will be eligible for the program, apply, be accepted, or successfully complete their program plan. However, this proposal gives the division the ability to have a positive impact on the prison overcrowding issue by accelerating the release of appropriate inmates if they prove they are committed to doing the right things to address the issues that lead to their criminality.
    • The bill also includes provisions to streamline the home plans process and allows the parole board to hold hearing contingent on home plan or program completion.
    Fiscal Impact: As stated above, it is difficult to predict exactly how many inmates would be eligible for the program, apply, be accepted or successfully complete their program plan. However, if we assume that 200 inmates were released on average 3 months earlier (90 days) than they would have before the creation of this program, the State of West Virginia could expect to save up to $855,000 in jail fees. That estimate is based on the $47.50 per Diem RJA cost x 200 inmates x 90 days= $855,000. If more inmates were released or were released earlier the State would realize more savings, if fewer inmates were released or they were released later then the amount saved would decrease.
    Implementation costs would include the hiring of 10 parole officers to accommodate increased parole case loads, which has been estimated to cost $378,760 annually (includes salary, benefits, and office supplies/expenses). These 10 officers have been hired already using vacant Correctional Officer slots this cost would be reimbursing the used Correctional Officer slots back to prior levels.