H. B. 3293
(By Delegates Staton and Browning)
[Introduced March 25, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §31-20A-1, §31-20A-
2, §31-20A-3, §31-20A-4, §31-20A-5, §31-20A-6, §31-20A-7,
§31-20A-8, §31-20A-9, §31-20A-10, §31-20A-11, §31-20A-12,
§31-20A-13, §31-20A-14 and §31-20A-15, all relating to
establishing residential treatment programs for regional
jail inmates who are abusers of alcohol and other drugs.
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 article, designated §31-20A-1, §31-20A-
2, §31-20A-3, §31-20A-4, §31-20A-5, §31-20A-6, §31-20A-7, §31-
20A-8, §31-20A-9, §31-20A-10, §31-20A-11, §31-20A-12, §31-20A-13,
§31-20A-14 and §31-20A-15, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 20A. REGIONAL JAIL AUTHORITY ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
§31-20A-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as "The Regional Jail Authority Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Act."
§31-20A-2. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds as follows:
(1) That West Virginia's prisons, regional jails and other
correctional facilities are housing large numbers of nonviolent
offenders that far exceed prior inmate populations which have
previously existed in this state;
(2) That this increased inmate population has not been
properly anticipated and has found the state ill-equipped to deal
with its accompanying problems;
(3) That although the state has completed large-scale
construction projects for prisons, regional jails and other
correctional facilities, it has not kept pace with the burgeoning
(4) That because capital and operational costs have soared
in an expanding correctional system, there is a need for more
effective and less expensive approaches to sanctioning and
supervising nonviolent offenders;
(5) That because of the conflicting trends of escalating
demand and dwindling resources, it is in the best interests of
the citizens of the state for the Legislature to develop and
evaluate cost-effective correctional options which reduce
reliance on incarceration while enhancing the reintegration of
nonviolent offenders into the community;
(6) That the abuse of alcohol and other drugs is a
significant cause of crimes, a major impediment to the
rehabilitation of persons convicted of crimes, and a prime
factor in the rate of recidivism;
(7) That a large majority of the inmates of this state's
regional jails are persons who are alcohol or drug abuse
(8) That the time during which alcohol or drug abuse
offenders are in custody presents a unique opportunity to provide
them with treatment; and
(9) That jail-based residential alcohol and drug treatment
programs, early release programs that include intensive reentry
services and supervision, and combinations of these and other
programs can substantially reduce the reliance on incarceration
as the sole or primary means of sanctioning nonviolent offenders.
§31-20A-3. Applicability of definitions.
For purposes of this article, the words or terms explicitly
defined in this article, and any variation of those words or
terms required by the context, have the meanings ascribed to
them. These definitions are applicable unless a different meaning
clearly appears from the context.
§31-20A-4. Abuser defined.
"Abuser" means a person who overindulges in, and is
dependent on an addictive substance, especially alcohol or other drugs.
§31-20A-5. Alcohol or drug abuse offender defined.
"Alcohol or drug abuse offender" means a person convicted of
a criminal offense directly or indirectly involving the person's
use or consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
§31-20A-6. Assessment defined.
"Assessment" means a comprehensive assessment for alcohol or
other drug abuse treatment. It is a thorough evaluation of the
individual, using multiple procedures and sources of information,
to establish the presence or absence of a diagnosable disorder or
disease and lay the clinical foundation for treatment.
Assessment shall include the use of the Addiction Severity Index
(ASI), available from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
§31-20A-7. Regional Jail Authority defined.
"Regional Jail Authority" or "Authority" means the West
Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facilities Authority
created pursuant to the provisions of section three, article
twenty, chapter thirty-one of this code.
§31-20A-8. Residential treatment program defined.
"Residential treatment program" or "treatment program" means
a jail-based program established and utilized by the Regional
Jail Authority for incarcerated alcohol or drug abusing offenders
in the Regional Jail setting. The focus of a residential
treatment program is to prepare the participating inmates for continued treatment on the outside, giving the participants the
message that the program is the beginning of a treatment
commitment, and that continuing care will be arranged upon
§31-20A-9. Screening defined.
"Screening" means a process used to determine whether an
individual is a likely candidate for participation in a jail-
based residential treatment program. As used in this article,
screening is used to identify individuals who:
(1) Have alcohol or other drug abuse problems that may
(2) Have infectious diseases including, but not limited to,
tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, or sexually transmitted diseases; and
(3) Fit within the target population of the treatment
program in terms of criminal justice criteria, such as current
charges pending, or prior criminal records.
§31-20A-10. Establishment of residential treatment programs in
(a) Within the limitations of available appropriations and
other funding sources, the Regional Jail Authority shall
establish one or more pilot projects, aimed at developing and
implementing residential treatment programs in the regional jails
of this state.
§31-20A-11. General program requirements.
A residential treatment program established pursuant to this
article will provide individual and group treatment activities
for misdemeanor offenders confined in a regional jail. A
residential treatment program shall:
(1) Last at least three months;
(2) To the extent possible, segregate alcohol or drug
abusers who are participating in treatment from the general
inmate population, so as to permit the establishment of a
supportive social environment within the jail that will allow
abusers to participate in a structured program and form
supportive bonds with others in treatment and with treatment
(3) Focus on the inmates' abuse of alcohol or other drugs;
(4) Develop the inmates' cognitive, behavioral, social,
vocational, and other skills to solve alcohol or drug abuse and
related problems; and
(5) Be science-based and effective.
§31-20A-12. Goals of a residential treatment program.
Goals of a residential treatment program within a regional
jail are intended to prepare an offender who is an abuser of
alcohol or other drugs for treatment and a return to the
(1) Providing education about recovery;
(2) Increasing the offender's self-awareness regarding the abuse of alcohol or other drugs and the detrimental effects that
the abuse of alcohol or other drugs has on an abuser
individually, on an abuser's family, on an abuser's employment
and income status; and on an abuser's other societal
(3) Providing an understanding of the need for treatment;
(4) Increasing awareness about solutions and resources; and
(5) Generating treatment motivation.
§31-20A-13. Design and planning of treatment programs in
(a) Treatment programs established by the regional jail
Authority for alcohol and drug abusers shall be specifically
designed for use in a regional jail facility.
(b) Planning and design of a treatment program shall give
(1) The problems created by short stays, varying lengths of
stay, frequent disruptions, overcrowding and understaffing of
(2) Programs in other jurisdictions that have been shown to
be effective in jails or other correctional facilities by
producing positive results in such categories as reduced
(3) The recognition that an effective treatment program
developed for a regional jail population will address familial, vocational, and social issues that will help support treatment
goals, minimize the risk of relapse, and decrease the risk of
criminal behavior; and
(4) Funding that is or may be available from legislative
appropriations, federal grants, private foundations or entities,
and other sources.
§31-20A-14. Elements of designing and planning
Design and planning of a treatment program in a regional
jail facility shall include consideration of the following
(1) Program admission criteria and procedures that may be in
addition to those set forth in this article;
(2) Screening of incoming regional jail inmates;
(3) Assessment of each participating regional jail inmate,
designed to determine the drug and alcohol abuse and addiction
needs of a participant and to address other issues essential to a
participant's successful reintegration into the community;
(4) Recognition that flexible programming and the
involvement of courts and other community agencies and providers
are critical to any preparation for joint program strategies and
interactions among the justice system, the alcohol and drug abuse
treatment system, and the community;
(5) Determination of which categories of care and components
of treatment may be critical to engaging individuals in treatment;
(6) Division of curricula into flexible units, recognizing
that no single approach to treatment works for all persons;
(7) Supervision of the participant's progress in treatment;
(8) Guidance to help incarcerated abusers make the
transition from being inmates to being participants in alcohol
and drug abuse treatment programs when they become available;
(9) Staffing and cross-system liaison;
(10) Management of information; and
(11) Program monitoring.
§31-20A-15. Consideration for early release.
(a) An inmate who was sentenced to a term of confinement in
a regional jail, who is determined to be an abuser of alcohol or
other drugs, and who successfully completes the residential
alcohol or drug abuse treatment program during his or her current
commitment may be eligible, in accordance with the provisions of
this section, for early release by a period not to exceed thirty
(b) The following categories of inmates are not eligible for
(A) Pretrial inmates;
(B) Contractual boarders (for example, federal or military
(C) Inmates who have a prior felony or misdemeanor conviction for homicide, forcible rape, robbery, or aggravated
assault, or child sexual abuse offenses;
(c)Eligible inmates currently enrolled in a residential drug
abuse treatment program shall automatically be considered for
(d)(1) Except as specified in subdivisions (2) and (3) of
this subsection, an inmate who is approved for early release may
receive a reduction of sentence of up to thirty days.
(2) If the inmate has less than thirty days to serve after
completion of all required transitional services, the amount of
reduction may not exceed the amount of time left on service of