CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia's top leaders are uniting behind a plan to target the state's growing inmate crowding crisis.
Studies overseen by the nonpartisan Council of State Governments have aided criminal justice systems in other states. But they require the cooperation of officials from all three branches of government and across party lines.
The quest to bring the Justice Reinvestment project to West Virginia has won that needed support. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and top leaders at the Supreme Court and Legislature have signed a letter inviting this top-to-bottom study.
Tomblin had proposed seeking this review earlier this year. West Virginia's prisons are at capacity. That's left the state's regional jails overcrowded with more than 1,800 convicted felons.
States that have taken part in these studies include neighboring Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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