skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

President Biden Tests Positive for Covid; Report: SD ethanol plants release hazardous air pollutants; Report: CA giant sequoia groves in peril after megafires.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Reentry Poses Challenges for West Virginians' Life After Prison

play audio
Play

Thursday, February 23, 2023   

West Virginians released from prison are not allowed to vote until their parole or probation period is over and their sentence is complete.

Since people can be placed on parole in some cases for up to ten years for low-level offenses, criminal justice advocates said they are effectively barred from civic participation, even as they get jobs and resume community life.

Ashley Omps, criminal justice advocate for the group West Virginia Family of Convicted People, said Senate Bill 235, which restores the right to vote upon physical release from prison, would streamline the process of helping more people become part of their communities.

"If you are reintegrated back out into society, after serving your sentence, probation and parole, you're paying taxes and working, and you're technically a part of society again," Omps asserted. "We just feel like it's your right to be able to vote."

The state also is taking action to reduce its prison population. Lawmakers recently passed Senate Bill 232, which would help divert people with serious mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders from incarceration, and into appropriate community behavioral-health settings. The bill creates a statewide study group to develop recommendations.

Kenny Matthews, criminal justice advocate for the American Friends Service Committee, said another tool to reduce the number of people in prison is known as earned compliance credit. It is a system which creates "credits" or incentives based on earning a college degree, or other positive actions after prison, resulting in reduced supervision time.

West Virginia lawmakers are considering it, in House Bill 3445, which Matthews argued would benefit communities.

"So, you have the ability to incentivize people to do what's right and what they should do, as well as a mechanism to reduce the caseload and the incarceration rate," Matthews explained.

Research shows states like Maryland and New York have saved money by implementing earned compliance credits.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Workers can file safety or heat-related complaints at the Cal/OSHA office nearest their work site or by calling 866-924-9757. (Sculpies/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

California has shattered heat records left and right this month and temperatures are forecast to be 10 degrees above normal this weekend, so the …


Environment

play sound

Ohio will receive more than $32 million in federal funding to help revive auto manufacturing and jobs in the state, specifically electric vehicle …

Environment

play sound

A court is soon expected to decide a Wyoming case between hunters and landowners which could affect public land access. When a group from Missouri …


Experts say addiction treatment outcomes are much better when a health care provider speaks the language and understands the culture of the patient. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

More than 85,000 people are admitted each year in New Jersey to treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction, and experts say language can be a …

Environment

play sound

Massachusetts will receive close to $1 billion in federal funding to replace the Cape Cod bridges. Lawmakers said it is the largest single bridge …

Researchers said children who live in poverty lose an additional two months of reading skills over the summer, with a lack of proper nutrition serving as a key factor. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Some North Dakota leaders believe healthy food is part of what is needed to help all kids achieve better outcomes and they hope low-income families si…

Health and Wellness

play sound

In the past year, the Colorado AgrAbility Project added four behavioral health specialists to help the state's agricultural producers, workers and …

Social Issues

play sound

The nonprofit Este Poder has a goal of helping more young people of color in rural east Texas exercise their right to vote. The organization holds …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021