(08/09/2005)
West Virginia's counties can expect little relief from their regional jail costs.

Costs at some of those facilities grew as much as 50 percent over the last five years.

A lawyer for the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority told lawmakers meeting in Morgantown yesterday, when you consider what federal standards the agency has to meet, there is no way to lower the daily cost charged to counties.

Calhoun County is again facing a rising regional jail bill, after the County Commission paid the bill down.

Attorney Tina Goodwin told a joint interim committee assigned to study jails issues that her agency has successfully sought a series of measures that aim to help counties gather the necessary revenue.

Goodwin says her agency plans to ask lawmakers next year to allow certain nonviolent inmates to work for private employers during the day, with their wages garnished to cover their jail costs.

She also urged the committee to embrace community corrections, a rehabilitation-oriented alternative to jail.


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