Gilmer Free Press
Are WV’s Prisons and Jails Overcrowded?
WV Jail officials are saying, there is not enough room in West Virginia’s jails and prisons for its inmates, and the overpopulation issue is expected to get worse in the coming years.
West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and the West Virginia Division of Corrections reports that the population in regional jails and prisons in WV as of 12/31/2008 was 6,059.
The current prison capacity in the state is 5,300.
In the report at the end of 2008, the top five crimes committed by DOC inmates for fiscal 2008 were:
—- Robbery - 547 inmates
—- Drugs - 597 inmates
—- Burglary/Breaking and Entering - 704 inmates
—- Forcible Sex Offense - 840 inmates
—- Homicide - 841 inmates.
Currently 85% of jail and prison inmates are being held for non-violent crimes.
WV DOC FY 07-08 Annual Report and a daily inmate count, among other sources, also report that the total prison commitments for calendar year 2008 were 3,273, while the total number of prisoners released - including paroles, discharges, escapees, those who died while incarcerated, court-ordered releases, pardons, medical respite and diagnostic releases - was 2,698.