Treat prison overcrowding at source
CHARESTON, W.Va. -- I would like to add some things about state prison overcrowding. Once again, the full story is not being told.
Since every regional jail is housing more inmates than it has beds, all regional jails are breaking the law to operate daily. Taxpayer dollars are being used to commit thousands of civil rights violations. These jails are nothing more than cash cows for a few select individuals while draining money from the state's people.
Also, the state has to start giving more individuals a chance at parole. West Virginia has one of the worst parole/probation rates in the country and the third fastest-growing inmate population. More people come in than get released and, surprise, it produces a grossly overcrowded system. It's not complicated.
The Department of Corrections imposes more petty, insignificant rules on inmates than a kindergarten classroom, ultimately jeopardizing one's ability to make parole. That's not rehabilitation. It's tyranny.
The true source of the problem is the cops, prosecuting attorneys and judges who relentlessly lock up so many for petty crimes. The state needs to resolve the overcrowding issue at the source, instead of just treating the symptoms.
Testing welfare recipients a waste of tax dollars
The West Virginia Legislature is considering a bill to test welfare recipients for drug abuse. One need only review events in Florida, which enacted a similar law, to determine that this bill should be put in the trash.