West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety

Jail Cell
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A West Virginia jail is set to launch a new pilot program aimed at helping inmates overcome drug addiction.

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports the program was announced Wednesday by the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety secretary, Jeff Sandy. The Western Regional Jail's pilot program will serve 32 men and 32 women in Cabell, Wayne and Putnam counties.

Anthony Correctional Center

The West Virginia Division of Corrections is relocating inmates and some staff from the Anthony Correctional Center in White Sulphur Springs after black mold was found.

The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety says in a news release that the transfers started Friday after Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen received initial findings from an ongoing inspection of the facility.

The statement says black mold was found in the Anthony Center's main building, which includes administrative offices, the facility's kitchen, gym and some housing units.

Courtesy of Wood County 911

For the latest on the fire in Wood County, see here.

 

Updated: Oct. 23, 2017, at 5 p.m.

 

Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in Wood County Monday afternoon in response to an industrial fire in Parkersburg that has burned since early Saturday morning.

 

The fire was reported at about 1 a.m. Saturday at the old Ames tool plant, just outside Parkersburg city limits.

Hundred, WV, a week after flooding is still clearing and cleaning debris.
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice is seeking a federal disaster declaration for a dozen counties in northern West Virginia hit by flooding in late July.

Justice sent a letter to the White House on August 10 requesting the disaster declaration, according to a news release from the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Prison Bars
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West Virginia prison officials have tapped a career law enforcement officer to crack down on illegal drug smuggling.

Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy has named Jack Luikart as director of correctional substance abuse control.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

An official says a West Virginia inmate has died after being assaulted by another inmate.

West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina told media in a statement that a fight occurred between the Mount Olive Correctional Complex inmates on Wednesday evening and led to the death of 30-year-old Earl Parsons.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia authorities say the regional jail system has revamped its inmate mail policy so inmates receive photocopies of all mail from family friends and businesses and the originals are shredded.

According to the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the state's prisons are poised to do the same as the 10 regional jails.

Jail Cell
Namastesa / wikimedia commons

An information-sharing agreement between the state Supreme Court and the regional jail system will ensure that inmates pay their court-ordered fines and fees.

The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety announced the agreement Thursday. It will allow the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority to check whether new inmates owe magistrate court costs.

Jim Rubenstein
wvdoc.com

West Virginia Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein is retiring this spring.

The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety issued a news release Wednesday night announcing Rubenstein's retirement effective April 1. He has been commissioner since 2001.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Dozens of inmates are helping with flood cleanup efforts in West Virginia.

State Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina says inmate work crews from Division of Corrections facilities have helped daily. Those efforts include mostly debris removal and at times assisting the Division of Highways with road repairs.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

  No prisons in the state have been flooding in recent weather events, but high waters have created issues for staff of a few facilities in affected areas.

Lawrence Messina the Assistant Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety said Mount Olive Correctional Complex and the Anthony Correctional Center have staff who are off trying to cope with floods. As a result, the facilities are understaffed.

Jail Cell
Namastesa / wikimedia commons

The Regional Jail Authority annual report says incarceration rates at the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg continue to decrease.

The Journal reports the annual report focuses on the performance and inmate statistics of all adult regional jails in the state from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

State officials say an inmate has stabbed another inmate to death at Mount Olive Correctional Complex.

West Virginia State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous tells The Charleston Gazette-Mail that troopers believe 40-year-old Steven Branscome stabbed 47-year-old Russell Hager several times in the head and neck using a metal shank on Saturday afternoon.

Officials say five fires have claimed six lives in West Virginia since Friday.

Local media outlets report the most recent fire happened Wednesday morning at a home in Harrisville.

W.Va. State Police
wikimedia / Wikimedia

  A woman is suing the West Virginia State Police over the shooting death of her husband.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Donna Spry filed the lawsuit last month in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit says Spry's husband, Curly Spry, was shot 11 times by troopers who entered their home without permission in January 2014.

Webster County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

  The agency that oversees West Virginia's regional jails is addressing a $1.3 million debt that Webster County owes for inmate jail fees.

The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety says in a statement that the Regional Jail Authority filed a petition with the state Supreme Court on Thursday. It seeks to divert state tax revenues that normally would go to Webster County to offset the county's unpaid bill for daily fees the state charges to house its inmates.

Corrections Training, Knife Training
Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As a prerequisite to working in the state's prisons corrections officers have to spend time at the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Professional Development Center.  Cadets in the program go through several types of training there. 

The Professional Development Center in Glenville in Gilmer County hosts the cadets during their training period. Among the training are things like agility obstacle courses and edged weapon defensive tactics training. Garrett Powell is a cadet at the facility.