W.Va. House candidate addresses need for jail reform after inmate death


After the death of an inmate after a 19-day stay at Southern Regional Jail on Saturday,...
After the death of an inmate after a 19-day stay at Southern Regional Jail on Saturday, candidates vying for seats in the House of Delegates are weighing in on the issue.(wvva)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - After the death of an inmate after a 19-day stay at Southern Regional Jail on Saturday, candidates vying for seats in the House of Delegates are calling for jail reform.

Eric Brooks is the Republican nominee who will be facing off against Democratic nominee Christian Martine for the newly created 45th District House seat.

Brooks is a 26-year veteran of the Federal Corrections system. If elected, he said he plans to seek committee roles dedicated to taking a closer look at problems within the regional jail system, specifically related to low pay, under-staffing, overcrowding, and bail reform.

In an interview with WVVA News on Tuesday, he said he would also like to find a way to get inmates who have been sentenced out of the regional jail system and into state prisons faster, where there are more rehabilitation programs available.

At FCI Beckley, Brooks said he helped run a pilot rehabilitation program that had a tremendous success rate.

“The amount of institutional misconduct was significantly reduced (by 40 percent), as opposed to those who did not participate. It certainly works. It helps while they’re incarcerated and once they’re released from prison.”

Brooks and Martine will be facing off against each other for the seat in November.