UPDATE: The State of West Virginia exclusively responded back to 7News regarding alleged over population at Northern Regional Jail.

Good afternoon. As explained in the prior email below, inmate population levels remain a challenge throughout the regional jails system. While this was an issue before COVID-19, the precautions and safeguards established in response to the epidemic have greatly restricted transfers among facilities and otherwise heightened this challenge.

As previously noted, population levels have improved at NRJ in recent weeks. This promising trend has extended to this week; the count there as of this morning was 411. About the same portion as before are pretrial defendants, and so subject to bail and other relevant decisions by magistrates or circuit judges.

The recruitment and retention of correctional officers and staff are similarly a challenge, as W.Va. Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy explained during Thursday’s edition of MetroNews’ Talkline program. But the multiple rounds of pay raises secured by Gov. Justice and such other advances as a defined career path have improved that situation as well.

Top DCR leadership have been to the facility yesterday and today, and will continue to work with its administrators to ensure the safety and security of its inmates and staff.

State Of West Virginia

Moundsville, WV (WTRF)-We’re learning more about the unrest at the Northern Regional Jail after a fight turned violent, injuring three people.

It all started around 8:15 last night when Moundsville Police received a call.

A past employee calls fights that occurred Thursday night, an everyday thing. But claims authorities are classifying it as a riot that left 3 people stabbed last night.

The fight started inside one of the pods among inmates involving makeshift weapons.

But a past employee with knowledge of the jail says it’s not the first incident and believes it’s only bound to get worse.

This person says hundreds of cells don’t close, saying you can’t lock the inmates into some of those cells, and according to this person, that was the case last night.

“I wasn’t surprised at all. I’ve been telling them for a while now, everybody’s been telling them something’s going to happen. Thankfully, this time it was just inmates, but it’s gonna be the staff eventually.”

Past Employee With Knowledge Of Jail

The past employee claims authorities referred to it as a riot.

But Thursday authorities would not describe that the situation as a riot to 7News, instead they described it as an incident

Meanwhile, the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is continuing their investigation.

We do know none of the inmates required outside medical attention, and no staff was injured.

7News will continue to follow this investigation.