Grassroots group joins with broad criminal justice reform coalition
CHARLESTON, WV – Today, a broad coalition pushing for statewide criminal justice reforms announced they will have a press conference in the Lewis McManus Room at the WV State Capitol, Monday, January 27th at 1:30PM.
The coalition members include Americans for Prosperity-West Virginia, the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, the American Friends Service Committee, the Catholic Conference of West Virginia, The West Virginia Citizen Action Group, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, and the West Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, among others.
The coalition members all signed onto a letter advocating for lawmakers to support the following reforms:
Mandatory reporting of all civil asset forfeitures conducted in West Virginia
Allow for presumptive parole for individuals convicted of non-violent offenses once they reach their parole eligibility debate
Probation reforms that encourage the use of graduated sanctions for technical violations of probation
End the suspension of driver’s license for overdue fines and fees and restoring those licenses.
Bail reform that transitions West Virginia to a pretrial system based on a defendant’s risk, not his or her financial resources
Raise West Virginia’s felony theft threshold, joining the more than 40 states that have done so since 2000
Allow for individuals to petition for expungement of charges dropped as the result of a plea agreement
Expand the Fresh Start Act of 2019 so that more licensed professions will no longer exclude people from licensure simply for having a criminal record—unless it relates to the occupation at hand
“Criminal justice reform isn’t a right or left issue, but a right or wrong issue. We are excited to join with a diverse cast of organizations as we act to make our communities safer and stronger” said Jason Huffman, AFP-WV State Director. We are ready to work with anyone to do right and ensure that our criminal justice system is made smart on crime and soft on taxpayers. There’s still a lot of work to be done and we invite anyone who wants to lift people up and improve their lives to join us.”