West Virginia governor declares state of emergency over jail staffing issues

(Source: AP Photo/Chris Jackson, File)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 1:01 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Citing critical staffing shortages at correctional facilities in the state, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued a state of emergency Thursday to address the problem.

The state of emergency will empower the West Virginia National Guard to help staff at adult and juvenile facilities across the state. Gov. Justice said the declaration could be in effect for up to one year.

According to a news release, during the 2022 Legislative Session Gov. Justice requested a bill that would have afforded a $10,000 locality pay adjustment for officers at correctional facilities where locality pay is necessary to maintain critical missions of safety and security to preserve the Division of Corrections ability to recruit and retain employees competitively.

That bill did not advance through the session.

During a news conference Thursday morning, Governor Justice said he did not know how many National Guard members would be used during this emergency declaration.

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