Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Division of Corrections determine how long inmates serve in  prison?

No. The Division of Corrections does not determine the length of stay for  inmates. Sentences are set by the WV Code and are applied by the  judicial system after an offender has been convicted of a crime. The West Virginia Board of Probation & Parole can also determine the length  of stay for an offender through their authority to parole eligible  inmates.

Can judges can sentence convicted offenders to a specific correctional institution?

No. Offenders are sentenced to the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections and it is his responsibility to determine where an offender is housed  based on certain variables such as the crime committed, security  classification, etc. This authority is given to the Commissioner of  Corrections in the West Virginia Code 25-1-5.

How can I find out sentencing, release, or any other information  about a specific inmate?

Contact the records department at the institution where the inmate is located (see the 'Prisons and Facilities' menu for contact information). If the institution is unknown you may contact the Division of Corrections Central Office Records section.

What is the difference between a County/Regional Jail and a  Division of Corrections facility?

Offenders who have received a sentence of less than a year, in most cases  a misdemeanor, are typically committed to a County/Regional Jail while offenders receiving sentences of more than a year, usually a felony, are  committed to the Division of Corrections. Offenders committed to Corrections are typically housed in County/Regional Jails until bed space is opened for them. The order in which they are transferred is based on Parole Eligibility Date, or exceptional cases approved by the Division of  Corrections.

I am interested in career opportunities in the Division of  Corrections. Who should I contact?

Contact Division of Personnel at (304) 558-3950 or WV Division of Corrections Central Office Human Resources at (304) 558-8045.

You may visit WV Division of Personnel’s website at:

My relative is housed in a Division of Corrections facility which is  located across the state from my place of residence. Can you transfer my relative to a correctional facility that is closer to my home?

Inmate transfers and movement are dictated by such conditions as that  inmate’s security level, programming needs, etc. These variables make it  impossible to house every inmate in a convenient location for their family.

What is the difference between Probation and Parole?

Probation is a form of pre-incarceration supervision that is administered  by the county and state court systems; it is not the responsibility of the Division of Corrections. However, the Division of Corrections Parole Services does supervise out of state probationers as part of Interstate Compact. 

Parole is a form of post-incarceration supervision that is administered  by Parole Services a section within the Division of Corrections. Parole is the primary way inmates are released from Division of Corrections facilities.

How does Good Time affect an inmate’s sentence?

Each inmate sentenced to the Division of Corrections, except Anthony Correctional Center commitments and those sentenced to a life sentence, receives one day of good time for each day served; thereby reducing the maximum sentence to one half, barring the loss of good time for institutional rule violations.

I am a crime victim and I wish to be notified when a certain  inmate is released. Whom do I contact and how?

Victims must submit a written request for notification (identifying the  inmate) to either the Institution Record Office where the inmate is housed or to the Division of Corrections Central Records Office. (See directory for address information.)

This is a separate request from the written request to the West Virginia Board of Probation & Parole asking for notification of parole interviews  and parole releases. Please note that the DOC and the Parole Board are  separate authorities and written requests must be sent to both agencies.

How much does it cost to house an inmate in a Division of  Corrections facility for a year/day?

The average annual cost per inmate during fiscal year 2005-06 was $24,410. During  that same period the average daily cost per inmate was $66.88.