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Evan Jenkins named to Senate work group

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West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, announced last week that Sen. Evan Jenkins, D-Cabell, immediately will begin serving on the Council of State Governments' prison overcrowding working group.

"Prison overcrowding is a serious public policy issue that affects all West Virginia taxpayers," Kessler said.  "It is imperative that a comprehensive plan and coordinated approach be developed to reverse the current trend of prison population growth."

Jenkins says protecting the public and holding criminals accountable for their actions is his top priority. 

"While that is job one, we must also look at the complete criminal justice system and make changes in those areas," Jenkins said. "Significant costs, like our prison overcrowding problem, continue to place enormous pressure on the taxpayers of West Virginia. I appreciate this appointment to help craft real, meaningful solutions to these difficult issues."

 Sen. Bill Laird, D-Fayette, will head the Senate delegation to the group.  Other members of the group are Sen. Mike Hall, R-Putnam, along with three members of the House of Delegates, top court officials, state agency directors and criminal justice stakeholders.  The bipartisan  group will review trends in the state's criminal justice system and ultimately develop policy options for state leaders to review for the upcoming 2013 legislative session.

Jenkins replaces former Sen. Mark Wills.