(11/28/2008)
Gov. Joe Manchin is looking at ways to curb West Virginia's ever increasing prison population.

The recommendation came out of a two-day correctional summit held this month.

Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Deputy Secretary Joe Thornton says legislative, executive and judicial representatives who attended the summit agreed that a public safety strategy commission is needed.

West Virginia, despite a declining population and statistics showing a relatively low crime rate, has been locking-up more and more people, creating a critical financial burden on county taxpayers.

The commission would be charged with reviewing and recommending a host of alternatives to how West Virginians are sentenced and confined.

Manchin spokesman Matt Turner says the governor recognizes the need for the commission. The naming of commission members is several weeks away.


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