WEST virginia Legislature
2019 regular session
House Bill 2083
By Delegates Pushkin, Shott, Miley, Lovejoy and Miller
[Introduced January 9, 2019; Referred
to the Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §25-1-9, relating to facilitating a released inmate’s reintegration into society, by requiring the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles and Commissioner of Corrections, to provide an identification card for released inmates who do not have a West Virginia identification card or driver’s license.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 1. ORGANIZATION, INSTITUTIONS AND CORRECTIONS MANAGEMENT.
§25-1-9. Identification card for released inmates.
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that reduces recidivism rates for West Virginia’s released inmates. Furthermore, it is the intent of the Legislature to establish an interagency program between the Division of Corrections and the Division of Motor Vehicles that provides inmates with identification cards upon their release from the custody of the Division of Corrections, providing them with an important tool for their reintegration into society.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The lack of proper identification for individuals recently released from prison is a major barrier to successful community reintegration.
(2) Inmates who have served long sentences may have outdated identification cards or lost their cards during their travel through the criminal justice system.
(3) The lack of an identification card leaves released inmates unable to complete employment forms, apply for housing, open a bank account, cash or deposit a check, receive necessary medication, register for school or enter a federal building.
(c) Prior to each inmate being released from the Division of Corrections the division shall take reasonable steps to ensure that each inmate successfully obtains a valid West Virginia identification card issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles.
(d) The Division of Corrections, in collaboration with the Division of Motor Vehicles, shall allow the division to make visits to its facilities for the purpose of providing state-issued identification cards to inmates upon their release and to inmates who are eligible to be released or released on parole within six months.
(e) An inmate is not eligible to receive an identification card pursuant to this section if the inmate already has possession of a validly issued West Virginia identification card or driver’s license.
(f) An inmate shall pay all fees charged by the Division of Motor Vehicles related to the issuance of an identification card. However, the division shall waive the fee upon a finding of an inability to pay.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to facilitate a released inmate’s reintegration into society, by requiring the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles and Commissioner of Corrections, to provide an identification card for inmates who do not have a West Virginia identification card or driver’s license.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.