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§25-1-11c. Hiring of other assistants and employees; duties of correctional employees; right to carry weapons; powers of correctional peace officers.

(a) The warden or administrator of the correctional institutions or units shall, in the manner provided in section eleven of this article, hire all assistants and employees required for the management of the correctional institutions or units, including a sufficient number of correctional employees to preserve order and enforce discipline among the inmates, to prevent escapes and to remove all persons convicted and sentenced to the custody of the Division of Corrections, from the place confined to a correctional institution, all of whom shall be under the control of the warden. The commissioner may issue a certificate authorizing any correctional employee who has successfully completed the division's training program for firearms certification, which shall be the equivalent of that required of deputy sheriffs, to carry firearms and concealed weapons while on duty. Any correctional employee authorized by the commissioner has the right, without a state license, to carry firearms and concealed weapons while on duty. Each correctional employee, authorized by the commissioner, shall carry with him or her a certificate authorizing him or her to carry a firearm or concealed weapon when performing his or her official duties as a correctional employee, bearing the official signature of the commissioner and warden or administrator. The right is extended to a correctional employee during the time the employee travels from place to place within the state for the purpose of removing prisoners from jails to a correctional institution of the Division of Corrections, during the time the employee is pursuing and apprehending escaped inmates and during any other time the employee is performing official duties as a correctional employee. No correctional employee has the right to carry a firearm or concealed weapon for any other purpose or during any other time, including when traveling to and from the employee's residence and a correctional institution, unless the employee has obtained a state license in the manner prescribed in article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code.

(b) All employees of the Division of Corrections are responsible for enforcing rules and laws necessary for the control and management of correctional units and the maintenance of public safety that is within the scope of responsibilities of the Division of Corrections.

(c) The Commissioner of Corrections may designate correctional employees as correctional peace officers who have the authority:

(1) To detain persons for violations of state law committed on the property of any state correctional institution;

(2) To conduct investigations regarding criminal activity occurring within a correctional facility; and

(3) To execute criminal process or other process in furtherance of these duties.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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