Sunday Feb 05, 2023

Woodyard talks plan to dramatically increase number of home confinements – Parkersburg News

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PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Sheriff’s Department is increasing the number of people on home confinement, Sheriff Rick Woodyard Monday told the county commission.

The program has around 35 people and Woodyard said there are plans to get that number to around 125.

Since becoming sheriff last month, Woodyard hired Mike Deem as the Wood County Home Confinement Director. Deem has been talking to officials in the circuit and magistrate courts, the prosecutor’s office and the public defenders office about getting more people on home confinement, the sheriff said.

“We have contacted a lot of the stakeholders that were putting people on home confinement,” Woodyard said. “We are working to up the numbers we have on the program.”

People on home confinement are non-violent offenders who are fitted with a monitoring system so their whereabouts can be tracked. The people are able to maintain jobs, if they are employed, and are supposed to pay for the equipment keeping track of them.

They have permission to leave home if going to work or going to the grocery store. Participants are subject to regular home checks to make sure they are abiding by the terms of their release.

Commission President Blair Couch said in years past they would regularly have over 100 people on home confinement.

“I would like to see us build that number back,” he said. “That could help us allieviate our jail bill to some degree.”

Woodyard said they have people who have fallen behind in their payments for the equipment and they are looking to recoup some of that. The sheriff got approval to hire attorney Joe Munoz to work on that.

Deem has begun to contact some of the people and payments have been received, Woodyard said.

In other cases, they will be looking into community service for others to work that debt off. In the past, people have washed vehicles. Officials talked about the possibility of using people to help keep many of the local historic graveyards mowed and maintained.

“Maybe it will instill a work ethic in some people,” Couch said.

Officials believe there is “a couple hundred grand” in such debt out there.

Commissioners would like to receive a monthly report on how much in payments is being brought. Woodyard agreed.

In other business, the commission elected officers and made its annual appointments to area committees.

Couch was again elected president and Colombo agreed to be president pro tem.

Commission meetings will remain the same, 9:30 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays until the conclusion of business. The third Thursday of the month will be when probate cases will be regularly held.

Special and emergency meetings will be held in accordance with state law.

The commission’s agenda will be posted by the doors of the courthouse, in the county administrator’s office and on the county’s website at woodcountywv.com.

Commissioners agreed to the following commissions, authorities and committees

* Wood County Recreation Commission — Jimmy Colombo

* Wood County Airport Authority — Robert Tebay

* Wood County Commission on Crime, Delinquency and Correction — Tebay

* Wood County Planning Commission — Colombo

* Wood County Development Authority — Tebay

* West Virginia Extention …….

Source: https://www.newsandsentinel.com/news/local-news/2022/01/woodyard-talks-plan-to-dramatically-increase-number-of-home-confinements/

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