CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia lawmakers are considering a series of policy reforms that could address parole, probation, and drug treatment options to ease the state's overcrowded prisons.
The Senate is chipping its way through a massive omnibus bill to tackle the overcrowding problem that has left regional jails stuffed and has spurred concerns of riots at the state's prisons.
State officials hope to avoid building a new prison to hold the additional 1,600 inmates currently being housed in regional jails throughout the state.
The state's prison problem is rooted in the state's drug abuse problem. And lawmakers charged with crafting the final bill say they want to provide the resources to expand drug treatment options within the Department of Corrections.