Senate Bill No. 177
(By Senator Love, Dawson, Ball, Mitchell, Hunter and Sprouse)
[Introduced January 24, 2000; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to repeal section six, article five, chapter twenty-eight
of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and reenact section
three-a, article one, chapter twenty-five of said code,
relating to inmate funds; and authorizing the division of
corrections to collect certain costs from inmates.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section six, article five, chapter twenty-eight of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be repealed; and that section three-a, article one,
chapter twenty-five of said code, be amended and reenacted to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. ORGANIZATION AND INSTITUTIONS.
§25-1-3a. Trustee accounts and funds, earnings and personal
property of inmates.
(a) The commissioner of
public institutions corrections is
hereby authorized and empowered to establish at each institution
under his or her jurisdiction except the West Virginia
Penitentiary at Moundsville, the Medium Security Prison at
Huttonsville and the State Prison for Women at Pence Springs, a
"superintendent's a "trustee fund." The superintendent warden
or administrator of each institution when such is deemed
necessary, shall receive and take charge of the money and
valuables personal property, as defined by policy, of all inmates
in his or her institution and all money or valuables personal
property, as defined by policy, sent to such the inmates or
earned by such the inmates as compensation for work performed
while they are domiciled there. The superintendent warden or
administrator shall credit such the money and earnings to the
inmate entitled thereto to it and shall keep an accurate account
of all such money and valuables personal property so received,
which account shall be is subject to examination by the state
commissioner of public institutions corrections. The superintendent warden or administrator shall deposit such the
moneys in one or more responsible banks in accounts to be
designated superintendent's a "trustee fund."
(b) The warden or administrator shall credit the money and
earnings to the inmate entitled to it. For all inmates, except
those serving life without mercy, the warden or administrator
shall keep in an account at least ten percent of all money earned
during the inmate's imprisonment and pay same to the inmate at
the time of the inmate's release. The warden or administrator
shall pay to the inmate or the inmate's family, or to those
dependent upon the inmate, in amounts, at times and in a manner,
as the state commissioner of corrections considers best.
(c) The commissioner of corrections may direct that
offenders who work in community work programs make reimbursement
to the state towards the cost of his or her imprisonment.
(d)(1) Prior to ordering an imprisoned offender to make
reimbursement towards the costs of his or her imprisonment, the
commissioner, or his or her designee, shall consider the
(A) The offender's ability to pay;
(B) The nature and extent of the offender's responsibilities to his or her dependent's, if any;
(C) The length of probable incarceration under the court's
(D) The effect, if any, that reimbursement might have on the
(2) No order of reimbursement entered pursuant to this
section may exceed five hundred dollars per month unless the
offender gives his or her express consent.
(3) The commissioner of corrections shall, prior to the
beginning of each fiscal year, prepare a report which details the
average cost per inmate incurred by the division for the care and
supervision of those individuals in his or her custody.
(e) The warden or administrator shall deduct any
incarceration charges or restitution charges, or both, as
authorized by the commissioner of corrections.
(f) The chief executive officer of any correctional
institution, on request of an inmate, may expend up to one half
of the money earned by the inmate on behalf of the family of the
inmate if the ten percent mandatory savings has first been set
aside and other fees owed by the inmate have been paid. The
remainder of the money earned, after deducting amounts expended as authorized, shall be accumulated to the credit of the inmate
and be paid to the inmate at times as may be prescribed by rules.
The funds so accumulated on behalf of inmates shall be held by
the chief executive officer of each institution, under a bond
approved by the attorney general.
superintendent warden or administrator shall deliver
to the inmate at the time he or she leaves the institution, or as
soon as practicable thereafter, all valuables personal property,
moneys and earnings then credited to him the inmate, or in case
of the death of such the inmate before leaving authorized release
from the institution, the superintendent warden shall deliver
such the property to his the inmate's personal representative.
Provided, however, That In case a committee conservator is
appointed for such the inmate while he or she is domiciled at the
institution, the superintendent warden or administrator shall
deliver to such committee the conservator, upon proper demand,
all moneys and valuables personal property belonging to the
inmate which are in the custody of the superintendent warden or
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to update and organize
procedures related to trustee accounts, earnings and personal
property of inmates as they apply to all institutions in the
Division of Corrections. It also codifies the commissioner's
authority and historical procedure to charge incarceration fees
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.