Senate Bill No. 270
(By Senators Kessler, Hunter and Unger)
[Introduced January 18, 2008; referred to the Committee on the
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
A BILL to amend and reenact §62-11A-1 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to eliminating obsolete language
requiring circuit clerks to handle and disburse certain inmate
ARTICLE 11A. RELEASE FOR WORK AND OTHER PURPOSES.
§62-11A-1. Release for work and other purposes by courts of
record with criminal jurisdiction.
When a defendant is sentenced or committed for a term
of one year or less by a court of record having criminal
court may in its order grant to
defendant the privilege of leaving the jail during necessary and reasonable hours for any of the following purposes:
To work at his or her employment;
To seek employment;
To conduct his or her own business or to engage in
other self-employment, including housekeeping and attending to the
needs of his or her family;
To attend an educational institution;
To obtain medical treatment;
To devote time to any other purpose approved of or
ordered by the court, including participation in the litter control
program of the county unless the court specifically finds that this
alternative service would be inappropriate.
Whenever an inmate who has been granted the privilege
of leaving the jail under this section is not engaged in the
activity for which
leave is granted, he or she shall be
confined in jail.
An inmate sentenced to ordinary confinement may
petition the court at any time after sentence for the privilege of
leaving jail under this section and may renew his or her petition
in the discretion of the court. The court may withdraw the
privilege at any time by order entered with or without notice.
If the inmate has been granted permission to leave the
jail to seek or take employment, the court's probation officers or,
if none, the jail shall assist him or her in obtaining suitable
employment and in making certain that employment already obtained is suitable. Employment shall not be deemed suitable if the wages
or working conditions or other circumstances present a danger of
exploitation or of interference in a labor dispute in the
establishment in which the inmate would be employed.
(5) If an inmate is employed for wages or salary, the clerk of
the court shall collect the same or shall require the inmate to
turn over his or her wages or salary in full when received, and
shall deposit the same in a trust account and shall keep a ledger
showing the status of the account of each inmate. Earnings levied
upon pursuant to writ of attachment or execution or in other lawful
manner shall be collected from the employer and shall not be
collected hereunder, but when the clerk has requested transmittal
of earnings prior to levy, such request shall have priority. When
an employer transmits such earnings to the clerk pursuant to this
subsection he or she shall have no liability to the inmate for such
earnings. From such earnings the clerk shall pay the inmate's board
and personal expenses inside the jail and shall deduct installments
on fines, if any, and, to the extent directed by the court, shall
pay the balance to the person designated by the inmate to receive
the balance for the support of the inmate's dependents: Provided,
That at least twenty-five percent of the earnings collected by the
clerk on behalf of an inmate shall be paid to the person designated
by the inmate as the person to receive funds being paid for the
support of such inmate's dependents, if any. Any undistributed
balance shall be paid to the inmate at the time of his or her discharge.
Except as specifically provided herein, nothing in this
section may be construed to require the clerk to undertake
disbursement and payment of an inmate's expenses, debts or bills.
An inmate who is serving his or her sentence pursuant
to this section shall be eligible for a reduction of his or her
term for good behavior and faithful performance of duties in the
same manner as if he or she had served his or her term in ordinary
The court shall not make an order granting the
privilege of leaving the institution under this section unless it
is satisfied that there are adequate facilities for the
administration of such privilege in the jail or other institution
in which the defendant will be confined.
In every case wherein the defendant has been convicted
of an offense, defined in section twelve, article eight, chapter
sixty-one of this code or in article eight-b or eight-d of said
chapter against a child, the defendant shall not live in the same
residence as any minor child, nor exercise visitation with any
minor child and shall have no contact with the victim of the
That the defendant may petition the court of
the circuit wherein he or she was so convicted for a modification
of this term and condition of this probation and the burden shall
rest upon the defendant to demonstrate that a modification is in
the best interest of the child.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to eliminate provisions
that require circuit clerks to handle and disburse inmates moneys.
This provision was necessary when the counties were responsible for
housing inmates. All inmates are now housed in either a regional
jail or a correctional facility so moneys belonging to inmates are
handled by the appropriate jail and correctional personnel and not
by circuit clerks.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would