West Virginia State Senator Randy White (D-Webster) addressed members of the press Tuesday afternoon in the Governor’s Conference room about the problems facing West Virginia’s prison system and what should be done to fix them.
Senator White cited the more than 50 percent increase in funding for state prisons over the last 10 years without an increase in crime rate as taking desperate funds away from almost every other program. He said the state is trying to fix a problem it does not have.
"This state can’t afford to be spending so much money on prisons when we have the future to the think about and provide for," said Senator White.
The Senator praised the Legislature for its support of the Day Report Centers in the Northern Panhandle and elsewhere and advocated making the program statewide with full funding. He praised the Governor as well for his additional commitment of $800,000 to continue the program. The sentencing and parole system also need to be reformed, White said.
He also believes the hundreds of non-violent offenders in prison need to be at home under close supervision, working at a job, supporting their families, paying taxes and getting the rehabilitation and job training they need.