It's undeniable that West Virginia has a problem with prison overcrowding. In fact, this week Joseph C. Thornton, the state secretary of military affairs and public safety, termed it "a dire situation."
Locally, a big step is being taken to combat the lack of housing for offenders. Huttonsville Correctional Center announced it's affirmative approach with the opening of its Work Camp. The facility, which is located on the prison grounds, will house 48 minimum-security inmates who will perform grounds maintenance and work for the state Division of Highways and the state Farm Commission. For the inmates, this will serve as an exercise in re-entry to society.
The camp will open on April 1. It is only the second of its kind in the Mountain State.
Providing needed community service to Randolph County, while helping to alleviate a statewide predicament is, as officials said during the project announcement this week, a "win-win."
We look forward to learning more about the program's successes, and hope other prisons in the state will consider implementing a similar work camp.