Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

West Virginia

I. West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs

Contact:
West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs
112 California Ave.
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-2630
304-558-2992 fax
Web Site: www.state.wv.us/bep

Information about State Department of Labor resources may be of interest to:
• potential employers looking for incentives to hire individuals with criminal histories;
• service providers and individuals with criminal histories who are looking for assistance in finding employment; and
• researchers and policy makers looking at current programs to ascertain what programs are effective and serve their intended purpose.

A. Federal Bonding Program
The Federal Bonding Program provides fidelity bonding insurance coverage to individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants who are qualified, but fail to get jobs because regular commercial bonding is denied due to their backgrounds.

Contact:
West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs
P.O. Box 1349
Charleston, WV 25325
304-558-0342
304-558-0349 fax

B. Tax Credits
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to be used as an incentive for employers to hire individuals from eight different targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients, and vocational rehabilitation referrals.

Contact:
West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs
112 California Ave., Room 221
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-3452
304-558-6446 fax

C. Unemployment Insurance Office
Unemployment compensation is a social insurance program designed to provide benefits to most individuals out of work, generally through no fault of their own, for periods between jobs. In order to be eligible for benefits, jobless workers must demonstrate that they have worked, usually measured by amount of wages and/or weeks of work, and must be able and available for work.

The unemployment compensation program is based upon federal law, but administered by states under state law.

Applications for unemployment compensation must be made at a local office. After the initial application has been filed, weekly claims may be filed by mail, telephone or over the Internet. Listings of local offices are available on the web site.

Contact:
Unemployment Compensation Division
West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs
112 California Ave.
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-2624
304-558-5037 fax
Web Site: www.wvuc.org

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II. Criminal Record Repository

This is the agency individuals may contact to obtain a copy of their state rap sheet. The criminal record repository can also tell the individual who else is legally entitled to have access to his or her record.

Requests for a copy of West Virginia criminal record must be made using CPS Form 39A from the West Virginia State Police. Requests may be in person or by mail. Information required includes name, date of birth, social security number and address. The signature of the person whose record is being requested, as well as legible photo ID, is required. Prints of the right and left index fingers must be taken by a law enforcement agency. A $20 check or money order payable to “Superintendent, West Virginia State Police” is required.

Contact:
West Virginia State Police
725 Jefferson Rd.
South Charleston, WV 25309
304-746-2179
304-746-2402 fax
Web Site: www.wvstatepolice.com

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III. State Attorney General

Employers and service providers may obtain information from the state attorney general regarding occupational bars, the licensing of individuals with criminal records in certain jobs, and whether the state has laws that limit what employers may ask job applicants or protections against employment discrimination based on a criminal record.

Contact:
State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25405
304-558-2021
Web Site: www.state.wv.us/wvag

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Prison Industry Program

West Virginia has a prison industry program designed to provide job skills and training for inmates. Items manufactured include office furniture, personal hygiene items, signs, as well as printing services.

Contact:
Corrections Industry
1268 Greenbrier St.
Charlestown, WV 25311
304-558-2945
304-558-6056 fax
Web Site: www.state.wvus/wvdoc/industries.html

Work Release Program

A work release/study release program is available to inmates who are a year or less away from possible parole release or discharge, have a minimum security classification, have no history of escape or absconding and have a non-violent criminal history. Earnings are placed in a savings account after expenses are deducted including rent, court mandated restitution and/or child support obligations.

Contact:
Brad Douglas, Research Analyst
Division of Corrections
Building #4, Room 300
112 California Ave.
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-2036
Web Site: www.state.wv.us/wvdoc

Pre-Release Program

Life skills and employment skills are offered to interested prisoners who are near their parole release eligibility. Program participation is voluntary.

Contact:
Brad Douglas, Research Analyst
Division of Corrections
Building #4, Room 300
112 California Ave.
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-2036
Web Site: www.state.wv.us/wvdoc

Post-Release Transitional Program

There is no transitional program in place although recent re-entry funding has been obtained to fund possible future programming in this area.

Contact:

Division of Corrections

Contact:
Division of Corrections
112 California Ave.
Building #4, Room 300
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-2036
Web Site: www.state.wv.us/wvdoc/

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V. Division of Corrections

Parole Services

Field parole officers work with parolees to assist them in finding employment and other services that may be required. One Stop Career Centers are the most common referral agencies. (See Section VII.)

Contact:
Division of Corrections
112 California Ave., Bldg. #4
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-6366
Web Site: www.wv.state.us/wvdoc/

Contact:

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VI. Legal Assistance

Free or low-cost legal resources, both in civil and criminal law, are helpful to individuals with criminal histories in learning about relevant state laws governing the expungement or sealing of criminal histories or addressing other legal issues resulting from having a criminal history.

A. State Public Defender

Contact:
Public Defender Services
Building 3, Room 330
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-3905
304-558-1098 fax

B. Legal Services

Legal Aid and Legal Services of West Virginia recently merged. Services are available for civil legal matters only. Locations of offices are available on their web site.

Contact:
Legal Aid of West Virginia
922 Quarrier St.
Charleston, WV 25301
304-343-4481
Web Site: www.wvlegalservices.org

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
West Virginia Bar Association
2006 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25311
304-558-2456
304-558-2467 fax
Web Site: www.wvbar.org

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VII. Local Service Providers

Community agencies are available to assist individuals with criminal records find employment. This information will inform individuals with criminal records about government agencies and community-based organizations that assist with employment, education or vocational training. Researchers and policy makers may find this information useful in identifying agencies and service providers in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

Work4WV

Work4WV is the name of the One Stop Career Centers in West Virginia. Their mission is to provide a comprehensive program of employment, training, and educational services while recognizing the need to enhance the characteristics of the region's labor market and business climate. Listings of the centers’ locations may be found on the web site.

Contact:
Employment Services
West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs
112 California Ave.
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-1138
304-558-1136 fax
Web Site: www.state.wv.us/scripts/bep/jobs/

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