West Virginia has prisons brimming over with inmates – but 127 of those prisoners have been paroled, although they remain in the prison system, reports the Charleston Gazette. These “pocket parolees,” as Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein calls them, have been left in state prisons even though the Parole Board has ordered them released. Eleven of them have been held for more than a year after their parole, he said.
Most of the “pocket parolees” are still incarcerated because they have no permanent home plan, he believes. A home plan, required before paroled inmates can be released, includes a place to stay and possible places of employment. A number of the parolees have been paroled before and sent back to prison for other infractions, Rubenstein said. In some cases, family members do not want them back in their homes and it is difficult to find shelters to house them.