Garcia said one of the key provisions of the Justice Reinvestment Act (SB371) to reduce overcrowding are graduated sanctions for parolees who commit technical violations of the terms of their parole.
Under the new law, judges can impose 60-day "shock incarcerations" instead of revoking parole and requiring the individual to complete the remainder of his or her sentence.
"This is the biggest part of the savings we hope to see in SB371," he said.
• Garcia said a possible Division of Corrections contract with a private, out-of-state prison operator to house up to 400 inmates would be a temporary stop-gap measure to "take a bite out of the regional jail backlog."
"Nothing's been decided at this time," he said of the bid opening, set for later this month. "We are interested to see what the cost would be to send prisoners, on a voluntary basis, out-of-state. ... We decided to go forward to see what kind of rates we get, but also what types of programming."
• Regional Jail Authority executive director Joe DeLong told legislators he believes it would cost between $700,000 and $1 million a year to hire additional counselors and instructors to provide programming in regional jails necessary to allow Division of Corrections inmates to become parole-eligible.
"The issue, as many issues become, is one of cost," he said.
DeLong said he does not have the authority to set a higher per-day rate for Corrections inmates in regional jails to cover those costs, saying it would require an act of the Legislature and a separate annual appropriation.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.