Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home
WEST VIRGINIA CODE
‹ Back  |  print page Print
WVC 28 - 5 - 31 §28-5-31. Mentally diseased convicts; treatment; transfer between penal and mental health facilities; penal facility procedures.
(a) No person who is, or was considered to be, mentally ill, mentally retarded or addicted shall be denied parole or a parole hearing based upon such past or present condition. In the event a convicted person is deemed to be an appropriate candidate for parole, but for a condition warranting involuntary hospitalization such person shall be paroled and proceedings instituted pursuant to section four, article five, chapter twenty-seven of this code. Any time spent in such facility shall be considered part of the term, and any person whose sentence expires while receiving treatment for a mental condition shall be discharged unless proceedings have been instituted and a determination made pursuant to section four, article five, chapter twenty-seven of this code.

(b) When a convicted person in a jail, prison, or other facility is believed to be mentally ill, mentally retarded or addicted, as those terms are defined in article one, chapter twenty-seven of this code, and in need of treatment, training or other services, the facts relating to such illness, shall be presented to the chief administrative officer of the facility. Such facts may be presented by a correctional officer, member of a correctional institution medical staff, relative, or the convicted person. Immediately upon receipt of such facts, the chief administrative officer shall arrange for psychiatric or psychological examination of the person alleged to be so afflicted. If the report of the examination is to the effect that the individual is mentally ill, mentally retarded, or addicted and that treatment, training or other services are required which cannot reasonably be provided at the correctional facility, the chief administrative officer shall file within twenty days after presentation of the facts an application for transfer with the clerk of the circuit court of the county of location of the correctional facility. Such application for transfer shall include a statement of the nature of the treatment which the person's condition warrants and the facility to which transfer is sought.

Within ten days of receipt of the application from the chief administrative officer, the mental hygiene commissioner or circuit judge shall appoint counsel for the convicted person if the person is indigent.

The clerk of the circuit court shall forthwith notify the convicted person, by certified mail, return receipt requested, delivered only to addressee, that such application has been filed, enclosing therewith a copy of the application with an explanation of the place and purpose of the transfer and the type of treatment to be afforded, together with the name, address, and telephone number of any appointed counsel. The person shall be afforded reasonable telephone access to his counsel. The clerk shall also notify the superintendent or other chief administrative officer of the facility to which transfer is sought. Within fifteen days after receipt of notice, the convicted person, through counsel, shall file a verified return admitting or denying the allegations and informing the court or mental hygiene commissioner as to whether the respondent wishes to oppose the transfer. Counsel shall file the return only after personal consultation with the convicted person. The superintendent of the facility to which transfer is sought shall also file a return within fifteen days of the receipt of notice, informing the court or mental hygiene commissioner as to whether the needed treatment or other services can be provided within that facility. If said superintendent objects to receiving the convicted person for treatment or services, the reasons for such objection shall be specified in detail.

If the transfer is opposed by either the convicted person or by the superintendent of the facility to which transfer is sought, the matter shall forthwith be set for hearing, in no event to exceed thirty days from the date of the return opposingsuch transfer, and the clerk shall provide to the convicted person, the superintendent of the facility to which transfer is sought, and the superintendent of the correctional facility, at least ten days' written notice, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the purpose, time and place of the hearing.

The convicted person shall be present at the hearing, and be afforded an opportunity to testify and to present and cross- examine witnesses. Counsel for the convicted person shall be entitled to copies of all medical reports upon request. The person shall have the right to an examination by an independent expert of the person's choice and testimony from such expert as a medical witness on the person's behalf. The cost of providing such medical expert shall be borne by the state if the person is indigent. The person shall not be required to give testimony which is self-incriminating. The circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner shall hear evidence from all parties, in accord with the rules of evidence. A transcript or recording shall be made of all proceedings, and transcript made available to the person within thirty days, if the same is requested for the purpose of further proceedings, and without cost if the person is indigent.

Upon completion of the hearing, and consideration of the evidence presented therein, the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner shall make findings of facts as to whether or not (1) the individual is mentally ill, mentally retarded or addicted; (2) the individual because of mental illness, mental retardation or addiction is likely to cause serious harm to self or others; (3) the individual could not obtain the requisite treatment or training at the correctional facility or another appropriate correctional facility; and (4) the designated facility to which transfer is sought could provide such treatment or training with such security as the court finds appropriate; and, if all such findings are in the affirmative, the circuit court may order the transfer of such person to the appropriate facility. The findings of fact shall be incorporated into the order entered by the circuit court. In all proceedings hereunder, proof of mental condition and of likelihood of serious harm must be established by clear, cogent and convincing evidence, and the likelihood of serious harm must be based upon evidence of recent overt acts.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.

This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature ***