Sunday, March 26, 2023

INTERIM REPORT: LOC on Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority

The Legislative Oversight Committee on Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority met this afternoon for interims.

The Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation provided an end-of-year update. Post-Covid hiring has been difficult, especially without competitive starting pay. Currently, the Eastern Panhandle has an abnormally high officer vacancy rate, other areas are not doing great either. The Division has expanded advertising and hiring events. The National Guard is currently providing staffing assistance for the DCR. About 200 National Guard employees are working in critical roles to save operations in many facilities by providing perimeter control, tower control, and other roles that do not require direct contact with inmates. DNR officers are also assisting. This is not a permanent solution to the staffing shortage.

The Prison and Jail population is down from January. In January, the total population was 9,904, and now is at 9,812. The summer high for the population was 10,081 inmates. At the start of the year, jails were overcrowded and prisons were not, now jails are less crowded. As beds became available in prisons, inmates were transferred. Now, the prison population is 1,500 inmates and the jail population is 1,400 inmates.

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