SB279 SUB1 Senate Bill 279 History

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Senate Bill No. 279

(By Senators Foster, Unger, D. Facemire, Minard and Klempa)


[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;

reported February 22, 2011.]



A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §25-1-23, relating to work camps for nonviolent offenders; authorizing the establishment of work camps for that purpose; providing definitions; determining eligibility standards; requiring policy be developed; and providing for judicial recommendations.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §25-1-23, to read as follows:


§25-1-23. WORK CAMPS.

    (a) The purpose of this section is to establish a program of work camps that will encourage work camp inmates to become responsible, productive citizens by providing academic education, social skills, education, physical wellness program, self-discipline programs, substance abuse treatment and vocational education and counseling. It is the aim of the Legislature that such a program will create a more positive environment for both inmates and correctional employees who operate the work camp; and that will reduce the recidivism rate of persons so incarcerated.

    (b) The Commissioner of the Division of Corrections is hereby authorized to establish a program of work camps that may be used for eligible offenders who are sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment under the custody of the commissioner of corrections and whom the commissioner may permit to serve all or a part of his or her sentence as a sentence to work camp in accordance with this article.

    (c)As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the term:

    (1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Division of Corrections;

    (2) "Division" means Division of Corrections; and

    (3) "Eligible offender" means eligible offender as defined in subsection (d) of this article.

    (d) Appropriate inmates, regardless of age, may participate in the work camp program in accordance with the following criteria:

    (1) One who is medically, physically and psychologically fit to complete the essential features of the program;

    (2) One who volunteers for the program;

    (3) One who meets the criteria set forth in policy by the Division of Corrections to reside within and otherwise participate in such work camp program; and

    (4) One who has been approved for participation in the program by the Commissioner or his or her designee.

    (e) The circuit court of conviction may recommend that a person be admitted or excluded from participation in the state work camp program. The commissioner, pursuant to Division of Corrections’ Policy, may in his or her discretion, direct placement of an inmate in a work camp program.

    (f) Any placement in the work camp shall be subject to the extent funding is available or appropriated and subject to the availability of space in the work camp: Provided, That this section does not give any court the power to hold the Division of Corrections or any officer or employee of the division in contempt of court for failure to adhere to a circuit court recommendation that a person be placed in the state work camp program if space or funding is unavailable or the inmate is not eligible under Division of Corrections’ Policy.

    (g) The Division of Corrections shall issue a Policy Directive, pursuant to Section Five of Article One of this Chapter, for such work camps.



    (NOTE: This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.)

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