Criminal Justice

May 20, 2023 by Sara Whitaker
‘Addicted to incarceration’: Advocates Say Correctional Understaffing Focus Misses Bigger Overpopulation Picture

Charleston Gazette-Mail, Huntington Herald-Dispatch - West Virginia corrections officials were eager to call attention to severe staffing shortages throughout their facilities in a state legislative committee meeting in which other items were on the agenda. Read the full article. “We didn’t want to be in front of you guys with an opportunity to speak without…

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March 30, 2023 by Sara Whitaker
Mass Incarceration 2023: A Report from the Legislature

During the 2023 regular legislative session, West Virginia lawmakers introduced more than 300 bills related to the criminal legal system. Nearly half of those bills created new criminal offenses or increased penalties for existing crimes. To a Hammer, Every Problem is a Nail One trend that emerged was lawmakers’ penchant for believing that the criminal…

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March 2, 2023 by Sara Whitaker
Senate Bill Would Double Down on Failed Drug Policies

On Tuesday, the Senate passed Senate Bill 547, a radical reimagining of the Controlled Substances Act that doubles down on decades of failed drug policies. West Virginia has been called ground zero of the drug overdose crisis. For the last decade, West Virginia has had the highest fatal overdose rate in the country–more than twice…

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February 27, 2023 by Rhonda Rogombe
Black Communities in West Virginia Know What Policies Could Make Their Lives Better. Now They Need Them to Happen.

Mountain State Spotlight, Fayette Tribune - As Katonya Hart stood outside of the House of Delegates chamber at the West Virginia Capitol,  a sparkly tiara fastened to her multicolored twists, the energy around her was undeniable.  Read the full article. A floor below, the women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. moved about in coordinated…

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February 9, 2023 by Kelly Allen, Sara Whitaker, Rhonda Rogombe
A Recap of the First Half of the Legislative Session

With a relatively short 60-day legislative session, the bills that get considered—and the ones that don’t—tell us a lot about our lawmakers’ priorities. Now that we are exactly halfway through the 2023 session, the WVCBP team lends insight into what we’ve seen prioritized so far and what we would like to see prioritized during the…

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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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