He said he is reluctant to change sentences that already have been imposed, and sees giving more lenient sentences to future prisoners as potentially unfair to those already in the system.
House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, also expressed concerns about releasing prisoners early and said he would not support implementing the report.
About 80 percent of incarcerations in West Virginia are somehow drug-related, but neither Palumbo nor Lane saw the construction of a secure drug treatment facility as a likely alternative due to limited state funds.
Senate Majority Leader Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, said that the fuller prisons get, the less effective they become. He said that when prisons become like warehouses, things like drug treatment and GED programs that promote rehabilitation tend to fall by the wayside. That makes it more likely that prisoners end up returning to jail upon release.
West Virginia's recidivism rate, the percent of prisoners who return to jail after release, is more than 28 percent. Rubinstein stressed that changes must be made to better prepare prisoners for when they are released and re-enter society.
"We've got facilities that are larger than the town I grew up in,'' Rubinstein said. "They are cities in their own right. When 95 percent of these individuals are going to come back out into society, one of our main objectives should be to prepare them for successful re-entry.''
Tomblin also stressed the importance of lowering the rate of reoffenders, who are sent back to prison after their release.
"We need to talk about how we stop recidivism,'' Tomblin said. "To make sure that when people are released from the prison system that they have the skills, the ability and the training to go back into society and become productive citizens.''