Daily Statistics (May 17, 2022)
5,253 people in WV regional jails
4,327 people in WV state prisons
Jails are 23% over capacity
13% of the prison and jail population is Black

Rick Wilson: A major step backward on criminal justice reform (Opinion)

The following op-ed appeared in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on March 3:

For the past several years, there’s been a remarkable bipartisan consensus in the West Virginia Legislature about the need to reform the criminal legal system.

Legislation was passed easing restrictions on food assistance for people with drug felonies; removing occupational license barriers to careers; reforming bail and parole; creating and expanding expungement procedures; issuing state photo IDs to people leaving prisons; investing in recovery programs; driver’s license restoration; and creating the amazingly successful Jobs and Hope program, first known as “Jim’s dream.”

All this happened when Republicans controlled all three branches of government, although Democrats in the Legislature also did their part. People talked, listened and worked things out. The voices of affected people were heard. Changes were made.

It was good while it lasted…

Continue reading: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/opinion/columnists/rick-wilson-a-major-step-backward-on-criminal-justice-reform-opinion/article_768446e6-66ce-52ca-a070-20177187e6ad.html

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