BENITA F. MURPHY - CHAIRPERSON
The West Virginia Parole Board operates under the West Virginia Code 62-12-12, as part of the West Virginia criminal justice system. The Board makes independent, quality, conditional releases of adult offenders. This Board also makes Clemency recommendations to the Governor for his consideration of applying adult offenders. The Board's responsibility is to protect society by the timely reintegration of offenders back into society as law-abiding citizens.
The West Virginia Parole Board was established in 1939 and throughout the years the philosophy, policies and procedures of the original Board has resonated to the present day Board. As the laws and their punishments change throughout the years, adjustments to the Parole Board's duties and reponsibilities must also change. Upon the Board's inception the Board consisted of one member. As the prison population increased, so did the appointed Members of the Parole Board. In 2007 the West Virginia Legislature expanded the Parole Boardto nine members at Governor Manchin's request, to enable the Board to adequately address the growing demand of the 21st century.
Over the past several years the Parole Board has applied itself to address the prison
overcrowding by using community corrections and by instilling and encouraging the inmates
to set goals to reach, so they may obtain parole.
The Parole Board's primary duty is to review candidates (inmates) who are eligible for parole
and ascertain if the individual is rehabilitated and can return to society as a law abiding citizen.
This is a big responsibility and it is not taken lightly by the Members of this Board.
The Parole Board operates independently in the criminal justice system, but works closely with
the Division of Corrections. Parole Services, which is an entity of Corrections, monitors and supervises
those inmates who have achieved parole and now must conform to the conditions of their parole.
The Parole Board is proud of it accomplishments, both past and present, and looks to obtain
positive results in the future.