H. B. 3126
(By Delegates Miley and Manchin)
[Introduced March 25, 2013; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §28-5-27 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to providing encouragement to inmates to complete education and treatment programs and to reward extra meritorious service of inmates, both through the award of good time days.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §28-5-27 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. THE PENITENTIARY.
§28-5-27. Deduction from sentence for good conduct.
(a) All adult inmates now in the custody of the Commissioner of the Division of Corrections, or hereafter committed to the custody of the Commissioner of the Division of Corrections, except those committed pursuant to article four, chapter twenty-five of this code, shall be granted commutation from their sentences for good conduct in accordance with this section.
(b) Such commutation of sentence, hereinafter called "good time," shall be deducted from the maximum term of indeterminate sentences or from the fixed term of determinate sentences.
(c) Each inmate committed to the custody of the Commissioner of the Division of Corrections and incarcerated in a penal facility pursuant to such commitment shall:
(1) Be granted one day good time for each day he or she is incarcerated, including any and all days in jail awaiting sentence and which is credited by the sentencing court to his or her sentence pursuant to section twenty-four, article eleven, chapter sixty-one of this code or for any other reason relating to such commitment. No inmate may be granted any good time for time served either on parole or bond or in any other status where by he or she is not physically incarcerated.
(2) Receive ninety days good time for receiving each of the following:
(A) A high school diploma;
(B) A two year certification in applied sciences;
(C) A four year certification in applied sciences;
(D) A technical education diploma as provided and defined by the division; or
(E) A civics education program that requires passing a final exam.
(3) Receive ninety days good time for each successful completion of a drug treatment program or other program as defined by the division that requires participation for a minimum of six months.
(d) An inmate committed to the custody of the Commissioner of the Division of Corrections and incarcerated in a penal facility may receive credit on his or her sentence in an amount not to exceed seven days per month, awarded at the discretion of the commissioner, for the following:
(1) Performing exceptionally meritorious service or duties of outstanding importance in connection with institutional operations and programs; or
(2) Acts of exceptional service during times of emergency.
(d) (e) No inmate sentenced to serve a life sentence shall be is eligible to earn or receive any good time pursuant to this section.
(e) (f) An inmate under two or more consecutive sentences shall be is allowed good time as if the several sentences, when the maximum terms thereof are added together, were all one sentence.
(f) (g) The Commissioner of the Division of Corrections shall promulgate separate disciplinary rules for each institution under his or her control in which adult felons are incarcerated which rules shall describe acts which inmates are prohibited from committing, procedures for charging individual inmates for violation of such the rules and for determining the guilt or innocence of inmates charged with such violations and the sanctions which may be imposed. for such violations. A copy of such the rules shall be given to each inmate. For each such violations, by an inmate so sanctioned, violation, any part or all of the good time which has been granted to such the inmate pursuant to this section may be forfeited and revoked by the warden or superintendent of the institution in which the violation occurred. The warden or superintendent, when appropriate and with approval of the commissioner, may restore any good time so forfeited.
(g) (h) Each inmate, upon his or her commitment to and being received into the custody of the Commissioner of the department Division of Corrections, or upon his or her return to custody as the result of violation of parole pursuant to section nineteen, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code, shall be given a statement setting forth the term or length of his or her sentence or sentences and the time of his or her minimum discharge computed according to this section.
(h) (i) Each inmate shall be given a revision of the statement described in subsection (g) if and when any (h) when a part or all of the good time has been forfeited and revoked or restored pursuant to subsection (f) (g) whereby the time of his or her earliest discharge is changed.
(i) The commissioner of corrections may, with the approval of the governor, allow extra good time for inmates who perform exceptional work or service.
(j) In order to ensure equitable good time for all inmates now in the custody of the Commissioner of the Division of Corrections or hereafter committed to the custody of such the commissioner, except as to those persons committed pursuant to article four, chapter twenty-five of this code, all good times shall be computed according to this section and all previous computations of good time under prior statutes or regulations are hereby voided. All inmates who have previously forfeited good time are hereby restored to good time computed according to this section and all inmates will receive a new discharge date computed according to this section. All inmates that have been awarded overtime good time or extra good time pursuant to sections twenty-seven-a and twenty-seven-b of this article which are repealed simultaneously with the amendment to this section during the regular session of the Legislature in 1984, shall receive such good time in addition to the good time computed according to this section.
(k) There shall be no grants or accumulations of good time or credit to any inmate now or hereafter serving a sentence in the custody of the department Division of Corrections except in the manner provided in this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to encourage inmates to complete educational and treatment programs and to reward exceptionally meritorious service by awarding good time days.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.