W.Va. inmate crowding study offering update

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia officials hope a study is closer to recommending ways to ease the state’s inmate crowding crisis.

Researchers with the Justice Reinvestment Initiative are scheduled to update state officials Monday.

The project aims to keep the public safe while also addressing West Virginia’s at-capacity prisons and overcrowded jails.

West Virginia’s adult incarceration rate ranks 32nd among states. But it leads the nation for prison population growth.

The initiative is a project of the Justice Center at the nonpartisan Council of State Governments. It’s helped a number of other states, including neighboring Ohio. The U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Pew Center on the States are paying for the study.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin requested the study and appointed the working group that’s meeting with researchers Monday.

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