Similar concerns were raised when the bill worked its way through the Senate.
Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein said the jails do not have the space or staff to offer the programming and were never intended to provide such services.
A House bill that would have mandated those services would cost an estimated $29 million to build permanent classroom space at the state-run jails and to staff and equipment the programs, Rubenstein said.
That bill passed the House Judiciary Committee but it stalled before the Finance Committee.
Delegate David Walker, D-Clay, said he would vote for the reform bill but he wants to see legislation next year that would provide alternatives to incarceration and would focus on drug rehabilitation before sending offenders to prison.
"Our state funding would be more well spent instead of filling the jailhouses up [if we] rehabilitate them before," Walker said. "We're not punishing the criminals, we're just filling our jailhouses up. We're creating more criminals. I think it's a failed system."
Social justice agencies that advocate for low-income West Virginians have urged the state to reduce sentences for nonviolent crimes and to improve the use of alternative sentencing through community corrections programs and drug treatment.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has invited the Justice Center at the nonpartisan Council of State Governments to review the state's criminal justice system. He hopes the center can suggest changes that would help reverse the state's ballooning prison population, which is expected to grow more than 4 percent each year this decade.