This post is co-authored by Bryan Phillips, the WVCBP’s Summer Research Associate
West Virginia’s regional jail population has been growing for years at a cost to both inmate safety and county budgets. Between 2010 and 2019, the average jail population increased by 30 percent. The average daily population statewide has exceeded total jail capacity for eight of the last nine years, putting those incarcerated at extreme risk of harm. Threats to inmate safety include health consequences, such as contracting COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, increased chance of violence, and more.