Tomblin's prison crowding bill moves through committee - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Tomblin's prison crowding bill moves through committee

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's prison reform bill has cleared its first major hurdle, passing the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The committee voted unanimously March 6 to advance the legislation. It is scheduled for another stop at the Senate Finance Committee before it can go to a vote by the full Senate.

Along with education reform, prison reform is the highest profile issue on Tomblin's agenda.

The wide-ranging prison bill aims to ease overcrowding in prisons by increasing supervision and drug testing following prisoners' release along with reducing the number of inmates who are returned to prison for minor parole or probation violations.

Some senators warned that if the bill did not pass, the state could be sued by prisoners because of the overcrowding. In other states, that has led to courts ordering a certain number of prisoners to be immediately released.

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