Skip to content

JRI Year: 2013



In 2012, West Virginia had the highest drug overdose death rate in the country, and funding for treatment in the community was scarce. Supervision failures often stemming from substance use were fueling growth in the prison population, which was rising faster than nearly every other state in the nation. In June 2012, state leaders pursued JRI with technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center to address this rapid growth in the state’s prison population.


The resulting legislation, Senate Bill 371, was signed into law on May 2, 2013. It included provisions that require supervision agencies to use risk assessments to inform supervision practices and to respond to violations with swift, certain, and cost-effective sanctions. It also mandated that people sentenced to prison for violent felony offenses receive supervision after release and provided community-based treatment for people on supervision with substance use treatment needs. To implement these provisions, West Virginia made several changes to policy and practice designed to strengthen community supervision, increase accountability, and expand access to substance use treatment.1 Some of these policy changes included providing more alternatives to incarceration for judges and prosecutors to use for people who have substance use treatment needs, expanding drug courts, and establishing a new sentencing option called “treatment supervision,” which ensures that people on community-based supervision receive substance use treatment and services.


Since enacting the legislation in 2013, spending on treatment for people under criminal justice supervision went from close to zero to $3 million annually, helping to fund inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, the hiring of recovery support specialists, and the development of residential recovery facilities.2 Following the enactment and implementation of JRI policy changes, West Virginia’s probation and parole revocations declined between 2012 and 2014, while the prison population remained stable and avoided previously projected growth.3

For more information, see Justice Reinvestment in West Virginia.

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Improve/revise pretrial release systems
  • Establish/revise presentence assessment
  • Authorize administrative jail sanctions
  • Authorize/develop/modify graduated responses or matrices for violations
  • Establish/improve electronic monitoring
  • Establish mandatory reentry supervision
  • Require/improve risk-needs assessment
  • Reform/establish specialty courts or diversion programs
  • Improve behavioral health interventions
  • Require data collection/performance measures

Other JRI-Funded Projects

The West Virginia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (WVDCR), in partnership with the CSG Justice Center, was selected to receive an embedded data analyst through the Resident Corrections Analyst initiative. The resident corrections analyst will focus on improving the agency’s data analysis capabilities through modernizing data management and reporting and expanding the existing data pipelines to deliver reporting metrics faster.

1 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2023, Justice Reinvestment in West Virginia, New York, NY: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, retrieved May 19, 2023 from

2 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, “West Virginia Expands Access to Substance Use Treatment through Justice Reinvestment,” The Council of State Governments Justice Center, November 12, 2015, retrieved May 19, 2023 from

3 Ibid.

^ Back to top