CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Between briefings from representatives of the Council of State Government's Justice Center and the Senate's work on similar legislation last year, Senate Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, said he believes the Judiciary Committee is up to speed on the governor's bill to help alleviate state prison overcrowding (SB371, HB 2726).
"My general view of it is that it's not that different, in a lot of ways, from what we passed last year in the Senate," Palumbo said after the bill's introduction Tuesday.
Much like the recommendations of the Justice Center, last year's Senate bill emphasized substance abuse treatment for parolees and other programs for inmates, along with mandatory supervised parole for all released inmates.
That bill passed the Senate 34-0 but died in the House at the end of the 2012 session, over concerns about costs for community corrections and mandatory post-release supervision for all inmates, as well as over philosophical differences among House Republicans on provisions for early release of inmates.
The governor's bill closely follows recommendations of the Justice Center, which conducted a year-long study of state prison overcrowding, including: