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Locals React to Prison Overcrowding Issue
Written by Tyler Hawn
Last updated on August 25, 2013 @ 12:03PM
Created on August 24, 2013 @ 6:33PM

With all the recent arrests happening in our area more people continue to be put behind bars. This might contribute to another major issue people across the country are concerned about, prison overcrowding.

People in our area said they believe the status of our prison system is a major issue for all of us to worry about, and they feel more can be done to help solve the nation's overcrowding problem.

"I think it's a major issue, and we've used them almost like an outlet for criminals," said Carl Swain, Craigmoor resident.

Studies have shown that West Virginia led the nation in prison overcrowding between 2000 and 2009. Experts estimate more than 7,000  inmates are currently incarcerated in our state, and about 2,000 of them are held in regional jail facilities.

One man said he feels this is a big issue many people overlook.

"It's definitely a major issue. We need to build more jails," said Kim Scritchfield, Fairmont resident.

The good news is the overcrowding issue seems to be decreasing. A previous study showed our state's prison population decreased by about 6%, and Governor Tomblin passed a bill in April that he said should save taxpayers more than $400 million over the next 10 years.

Other people said they aren't happy with how their tax money is being used and said the state definitely needs to look into budgeting money to build more facilities.

5 News tried to reach out to officials from the North Central Regional Jail to get their take on the issue, but they were unavailable for comment.

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