§31-20-26. Legislative oversight committee.
The president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of
Delegates shall each designate five members of their respective
houses, at least one of whom shall be a member of the minority
party, to serve on a legislative oversight committee charged with
immediate and ongoing oversight of the authority and the
commissions, and functions and duties of the authority and the
commissions created by this article. This committee shall report
regularly at each legislative session on the implementation of the
purposes set forth in section one-a of this article. It shall
regularly investigate all matters relating to integrity, probity
and foresight in funding, operating and planning the correctional
system on state, regional and county levels, and may include the
planning, funding, constructing and operating of juvenile detention
and correctional facilities. Specifically, the committee shall
study and make recommendations to the Legislature as to the
revision of the system of classifying adult inmates, with a view
variously to decreasing the prison population confined in "maximum
security" facilities and to designating and meeting the needs of
inmates classified as elderly, disabled or otherwise handicapped.
In addition, the committee may study and make recommendations to
the Legislature relating to the system of juvenile detention and
The committee shall further study and inform the state
judiciary of the impact of sentencing on the composition of the prison population in proportion to the use of facilities. It shall
recommend alternatives to long-term sentencing, and shall recommend
measures to improve the quality of correctional staff and
facilitate nonconfrontational contacts with inmates. The committee
shall investigate means to structure inmates' time to ensure
genuine and willing reaccommodations to societal norms; shall probe
and coordinate all available means for funding state, regional and
county correctional facilities; and shall contract with penal
experts to study these issues in appropriate depth and perspective.
Annually, to predict a prudent use of available funds, the
committee shall study the profile of the inmate population with
regard to its age and social background and needs.
The committee shall recommend to the Legislature the funding
required to execute these functions. It shall meet regularly with
the governing body of the authority established in this article to
determine what may be required for full and timely compliance with
all federal mandates and court-ordered changes in the correctional
system and shall recommend funding for these changes.