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NEWS | Aug. 12, 2022

W.Va. Guard to provide support to Dept. of Corrections to alleviate staffing shortages

West Virginia National Guard

 

At the direction of Governor Jim Justice, more than 50 West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have volunteered to provide staffing assistance to the West Virginia Department of Corrections, Regional Jail Authority and Division of Juvenile Services beginning August 18, 2022.

“The West Virginia National Guard proudly supports our state agency partners during times of need and this request for assistance is no different,” stated Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, the Adjutant General of West Virginia. “Our personnel have accomplished this mission in the past with success and we have a great group of volunteers who are ready to step up and alleviate the staffing shortages for our state’s correctional officers. The most important thing we can do is ensure that there are appropriate levels of safety and security in facilities across the state to help ensure our citizens and the men and women of corrections are safe.”

On August 11, 2022, Governor Justice signed Executive Order 5-22, declaring a State of Emergency pertaining to staffing levels at juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities in West Virginia. This executive order empowers the Adjutant General and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to enter into an agreement to alleviate staffing shortages, not to exceed one year. 

The group of WVNG volunteers will undergo in-processing beginning next week in Charleston prior to their assignment at various facilities throughout the state. Orientation at the support facilities will begin on Aug. 22, 2022. All Soldiers and Airmen participating in this mission will be working in a State Active Duty status.

West Virginia National Guard servicemembers will not be performing duties as correctional officers but will assist in support roles such as administrative functions, control center management, camera operations or other duties that are not in direct contact with inmates. 

In 2018, the WVNG was called in to provide assistance to the Dept. of Corrections for a period of six months from February to July. In total, 109 service members participated in this mission working in 18 different facilities throughout the state.

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