Thursday, November 30, 2023

Judiciary Committee Meets for Special Session

The House Judiciary Committee met this morning several bills.

House Bill 108 was pulled from the agenda.

House Bill 106 clarifies that temporary ID cards issued when released from prison are free and valid for 180 days.

House Bill 107 requires municipalities to reimburse counties for up to five days of regional jail per diem fees when the municipality incarcerates an individual in a regional jail and prosecutes in a magistrate when prosecuting could have taken place in a municipal court.

House Bill 109 prohibits state funds to be used for nonmedically necessary procedures for inmates. The bill was amended to allow for hormonal birth control and if wanted, hysterectomies and vasectomies. Another amendment clarifies that a medical professional decides what is medically and nonmedically necessary.

House Bill 110 authorizes the Supreme Court of Appeals to develop pretrial release programs in all circuits in West Virginia. The bill also requires a notification system to be created for reminders. A pilot program was created to study this years ago, however, no information is available as those who worked on it no longer work for the state. It could be beneficial to study a new pilot to see if a program would be successful. The bill was amended to make the program available only to non-violent misdemeanors.

House Bill 111 originally authorized agreements for training through the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for employees who did not remain on the job. The bill was amended to offer an additional $2,000 retention bonus to incentivize individuals to remain in the job beyond 12 months. This bonus would be for all employees who interact with inmates, not just officers.

The DCR has 3,800 total positions available with 750 vacancies. The department is hoping to hire 300-400 individuals. Currently, there is no retention bonus in the code. However, the department does offer 12-month bonuses for officers. This bill would allow the department to decide and place in a contract when this additional $2,000 bonus would be offered.

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