Having over 13,000 people incarcerated, West Virginia does not have a very welcoming record of incarcerated individuals. As of 2022, West Virginia has been found to have incarcerated 731 out of 100,000 citizens which is a big number especially once compared with other US states.
The state is also home to some of the worst prisons in the United States of America where violence, murders, and rapes are a common sight and authorities have paid little to no attention to improving these situations.
How many state prisons are there in West Virginia in 2022?
In West Virginia, there are over 10 adult prisons out of which only one is a maximum security facility. These facilities are stretched across the entire state and are maintained by the West Virginia Division of Corrections.
Unlike other states, as of 2022, there are no privately administered prisons in West Virginia.
What are the reasons that make West Virginia prisons worse?
The following are the reasons that make West Virginia prisons the worst. These include:
- Rampant cases of sexual abuse in both male and female prisons. The rape cases are done either by guards or other inmates.
- Jails are not being maintained, thus making them unsustainable and unhealthy at times.
- Budget cuts lead to inmates not being served proper meals occasionally, however, this is also due to departmental corruption.
- Jails do not offer proper educational programs. Inmates are not given proper correctional facilities.
- Rampant cases of prison violence have taken over the lives of multiple guards and other inmates.
- Murders did by other inmates, especially those who are already charged with murder.
- Prison overcrowding since West Virginia locks a big number of its citizens and therefore there is no other way to adjust the inmates rather than to send them to jail.
What are the worst prisons in West Virginia?
The following are the worst prisons that are located in the US state of West Virginia. These include:
Mount Olive Correctional Complex:
The Mount Olive Correctional Complex (MOCC) is the only male maximum security prison in the state of West Virginia for dangerous male inmates. The prison has a capacity of 1,030 and is one of the most hellish places in the state.
Every problem is rampant in this prison. From water woes to murder, mismanagement, drug overdoses to departmental corruption. Former inmates have reported the prison to be the most dangerous place one can be. On top of it, all is the rampant gang wars that are common in this prison. Inmates have formed different gangs and attacks on one another are common, to say the least.
The authorities, on the other hand, have remained silent and have not done much to improve the conditions.
Pruntytown Correctional Center:
Opened in 1985, the prison has a capacity of 369 inmates. It is a minimum security prison. The prison served as first West Virginia’s mixed sex prison but after cases of sexual abuse and rape were reported, in 2007, the authorities decided to end it and make the prison an all-male minimum security prison.
The prison houses 369 male inmates, which includes a 24-bed substance abuse treatment unit.
One of the problems that this prison face is the issue of rampant gang violence. A few years back, substance abuse was also common but as authorities took the necessary steps, that issue was resolved. However, there is an epidemic of violence in this prison that takes place now and then, and especially the new inmates are the target.
Murders are also not uncommon in this prison and the last one occurred in 2019!
Denmar Correctional Center:
Opened in 1993, the prison has a capacity of 235 and is a minimum security class.
What makes this prison the worst in West Virginia is the lack of necessities served in this prison. Inmates have complained of authorities not doing enough to keep up with the maintenance of this prison which makes their sentence more difficult.
Other than that, the prison has remained relatively safe from gang violence and substance abuse. Murders are not common in this prison and guards have made sure they always keep a strict eye on ensuring neither gangs are formed in this prison nor substance abuse.
Lakin Correctional Center Jail:
This is a minimum security prison for female inmates in West Virginia. The capacity of this prison is 543 female inmates, however, over the years it has been said the prison is overpopulated by about 10%.
The prison is home to some of the most sex abuses reported in any state prison in West Virginia. The majority of the cases were kept hidden from the public eye but in 2011, former inmates filed a lawsuit against the jail authorities.
While the people involved were penalized for their negligence, it appears very little has changed since such cases have not dropped, making the stay of female inmates in this prison one of the worst that one can want it to be.
Martinsburg Correctional Center:
Located in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, the facility was opened as the Eastern Regional Jail but was later converted to a state prison after seeing some expansion work. The facility has 120 beds and houses minimum security inmates.
Despite being a small prison, with a small budget, the facility is home to some of the worst cases of rape which is largely due to most of the inmates being found guilty of rape. The authorities have employed several strategies to ensure such cases do not occur, however, little has changed, and especially the newcomers are the target of such crimes.
Additionally, some of the facilities in this prison require urgent changes and improvements. Inmates have reported many of the things in this prison are broken and authorities have hardly paid any attention to getting them repaired. The lack of maintenance is also a reason why many inmates face health issues right after getting themselves admitted to the prison.
Ohio County Correctional Center:
It was one of the oldest prisons in West Virginia that was opened in 1974. The facility is a minimum security prison but over the years has been accused of housing some serious criminals, which has made the entire discipline of this prison get broken.
Not much has been done to shift the attention to where the main problem lies and this is why the prison has reported a frequency of riots where guards and inmates suffer numerous attacks, and murders have also increased in this prison.
Additionally, the quality of services has also declined in this prison. Inmates are not given proper meals or access to educational services. While the prison is still handling itself, it is still one of the violent ones in the state of West Virginia and people serving in it are in constant danger of getting attacked.
St Marys Correctional Center:
This facility is a medium security prison that houses level 1, level 2, and level 3 male inmates, and the population of this facility is 620 adult inmates.
There have been several deaths reported in this prison. Some are cited to be murders while others are cited as suicides under investigation. Whatever the case might be, the prison is home to several inmates losing their lives before completing their sentence which makes fear run in the veins of other inmates.
The prison is not the safest place in the state of West Virginia!
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