Finding New Cells For W.Va. Convicts
Don’t look for many convicted criminals to volunteer, out of the goodness of their hearts, to help out the criminal justice system that put them behind bars.
Still, West Virginia officials are right to be considering proposals by two companies that operate private prisons in other states. The firms want to bid on providing incarceration services for the state.
Mountain State prisons are drastically overcrowded. Unless something is done about that, the federal courts will step in and order a solution, no matter how unpalatable, be found.
Privately operated prisons have helped other states in similar straits.
But West Virginia’s constitution bans forcing convicts to stay in out-of-state prisons. Volunteers would have to be sought.
Corrections officials already provide incentives for good behavior by convicts. Perhaps something similar could be used to convince some non-violent offenders to allow themselves to be transferred to out-of-state prisons.