Criminal Justice

December 9, 2022 by Sara Whitaker
WV Program Mentors People Re-Entering Society After Prison

Public News Service - West Virginia's prison population has ballooned, and formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when they are released. A Charleston-based program pairs them with mentors for one year, to help them successfully adjust and reorient their lives. Read the full article. Amber Blankenship, peer-entry program coordinator with the REACH Initiative, said most people…

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November 15, 2022 by WVCBP
New Brief Provides Vision for Reentry from the People Who Live It

For Immediate Release: November 15, 2022 Contact: Renee Alves, 559-916-5939 Charleston, WV – West Virginia is experiencing an imprisonment crisis, with an incarceration rate higher than that of any country in the world. Thousands of West Virginians are released from prison every year, and these returning citizens face hundreds of collateral consequences — that is, punishments that last even…

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November 15, 2022 by Sara Whitaker
 “Closest to the Problem”: A Vision for Reentry from the People Who Live It 

Overview “I don’t know how much time each of you has served, but if you served one day in a correctional facility, you have something to say, and somebody ought to hear it.” Darrin Lester addressed a group of formerly incarcerated people in Logan County, West Virginia this past summer, part of a session called “Be…

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August 24, 2022 by WVCBP
New Brief Highlights How Counsel at First Appearance Policy Can Protect Liberty and Reduce Jail Costs

For Immediate Release: August 24, 2022 Contact: Renee Alves, 559-916-5939 Charleston, WV – Despite West Virginia’s crime rate and total population declining in recent decades, the state jail population has increased over that period, and at the end of Fiscal Year 2022, state jails were nearly 1,000 people above capacity. One contributing factor driving this counterintuitive trend is West…

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August 24, 2022 by Sara Whitaker
Counsel at First Appearance Can Protect Liberty and Reduce Jail Costs

Introduction Read the full policy brief. To anyone raised on American television, it may come as a surprise that a person could appear at a court hearing without a lawyer. But every day in West Virginia, people who are arrested face their first hearings alone. This has significant consequences. At the first appearance hearing the…

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August 18, 2022 by Sara Whitaker
In Harm’s Way: The True Costs of Pretrial Detention in West Virginia

When Anthony[1] was arrested in 2020, he sat at the police station for hours before a man came over the station telephone and told him, “We’re going to set your bond at $25,000 cash.” The man on the phone was a magistrate conducting Anthony’s “first appearance” hearing. At this hearing, a magistrate explains the criminal…

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March 29, 2022 by WVCBP
Simulation Planned To Show Challenges Of Life After Correctional System

West Virginia Public Broadcasting - About 95 percent of people who leave prison or jail return home without the resources they need to transition back into society, according to the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy. Some of the barriers they face include housing and supervision restrictions or problems getting a job with a…

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March 20, 2022 by WVCBP
Reentry Simulation Being Held at Concord University

Lootpress - “Overcoming Barriers to Reentry & Reintegration Post Incarceration,” a reentry simulation event will be held at Concord University on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Read the full article. The Concord University Sociology Department and the WV Reentry Councils are sponsoring the event.Beverly Sharp, Director of the WV Reentry Councils, along with Ashley Lough from…

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