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West Virginia jails have more inmates now than when lawmakers passed bail reform in 2020

By Lacie Pierson, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More people are currently incarcerated in West Virginia’s regional jails than there were in 2020, when the Legislature passed a bail reform law meant to decrease the state’s jail population.

That includes 2,681 people who have not been convicted of a crime.

All of the state’s regional jails were operating well over their intended capacity when the Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee met Monday to discuss jail population and potential bail reforms, according to data presented to the committee by Quenton King, criminal justice policy analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, as well as data provided by the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“Certainly, this subject is something that’s been important not only to us here, in the House, and I think in the Senate, but also to many of our colleagues at the local municipal level,” said Joint Judiciary Co-chairman Moore Capito, R-Kanawha.

During Monday’s meeting, 5,390 people were incarcerated in regional jails, according to data provided by the state Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. On Jan. 29, 2020, the day the House of Delegates passed the bail reform bill, there were 5,100 inmates in the regional jails...

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/legislative_session/wv-jails-have-more-inmates-now-than-when-lawmakers-passed-bail-reform-in-2020/article_78967d9b-5ff3-52e5-9562-bf43a4f2991f.html

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