Criminal Justice

December 5, 2023 by Sara Whitaker
Six Things Lawmakers Could Do to Fix West Virginia’s Troubled Regional Jails

Mountain State Spotlight - West Virginians are still held in jails where conditions can be brutal, nasty and deadly.  Read the full article. In just the past four years, 85 people have died in custody, more than a quarter of them at the Southern Regional Jail alone. Overcrowding has led to lawsuits that allege people…

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November 30, 2023 by Sara Whitaker
Gov’t Agencies, Officials Owe Us More Transparency

The Dominion Post - Gov. Jim Justice has made an art form out of speaking much but saying little, and his meaningless verbal abstractions were on full display at a news briefing earlier this month as he non-answered questions about West Virginia jails' myriad problems. If you sifted through enough of the ramblings and Justice-isms,…

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November 19, 2023 by Sara Whitaker
As Governor Describes Another Look at Jail System, Focus Could Be on Conditions or Accountability

West Virginia MetroNews - Gov. Jim Justice has called for a reexamination of conditions in West Virginia’s jails along with an internal investigation, although it’s not completely clear what the focus will be. Read the full article. Justice described wanting a closer look at the jail system during a news briefing earlier this month. The state had…

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November 16, 2023 by WVCBP
A View of End-of-Life Care, From Behind Bars

This guest blog post was authored by Brent Radabaugh. Brent is serving a life with mercy sentence at Huttonsville Correctional Center. He is a graduate of the Bible College, a peer mentor, and a proud father of two young men. There was a time in my life when I don’t think I could have changed…

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November 16, 2023 by Sara Whitaker
What a Community of Care Looks Like

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Last month, Derek Hudson walked out of Charleston’s Bream SHOP to find a distraught man yelling that his bike had been stolen from the sidewalk. The man paced back and forth, on the verge of tears. The handful of people outside Bream SHOP averted their eyes and avoided engaging with him. Read…

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October 30, 2023 by WVCBP
Report: Minorities a Majority in WV Prison Population

Public News Service - A new study of incarceration trends shows Black people are jailed at a rate three times higher than their white peers in West Virginia, even though they only make up 14% of the population. Read the full article. In addition, research from the Prison Policy Initiative found disparities in the criminal justice system…

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October 2, 2023 by WVCBP
Prisoners Sue Over Food in WV Prisons

WCBC - West Virginia’s contracts with Aramark Correctional Services have come under scrutiny after a lawsuit by prisoners alleges they were regularly served spoiled milk and undercooked or rotten meat. Teri Castle, former Fellow at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, explains Aramark cuts corners, and then makes more money when people buy…

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September 29, 2023 by WVCBP
WV Prison Food: Rotten or Poor Quality, Lawsuits, Lack of Oversight

Public News Service - West Virginia's contracts with Aramark Correctional Services have come under scrutiny after a lawsuit brought by incarcerated residents, alleging they were regularly served spoiled milk and undercooked or rotten meat. Read the full article. Teri Castle, former criminal legal reform fellow at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, alleged…

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September 12, 2023 by WVCBP
New Report Examines the High Costs of Cheap Food in West Virginia Prisons

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2023 Contact: Sara Whitaker, 304-610-6391 Charleston, WV – Since 2015, West Virginia prisons have sent more than $57.1 million out of state to pay for food served in its prisons. Privatizing prison food has resulted in poorer food quality and worse health outcomes. A 2022 class-action lawsuit filed against the Department of Corrections and…

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