West Virginia Department of Corrections

Contact: Sandi Jaynes, M.S.- Victim Services Manager
Phone: 304.558.2036
Email: sjaynes@mail.wvnet.edu

Operations: New Beginnings

The West Virginia Division of Corrections Victim Services conducts two major projects each year that involve 12 facilities, staff, inmates, and the community. They are National Crime Victims Awareness in April and National Domestic Violence Awareness in October. Each facility forms a committee to plan a project, which involves staff, inmates, and community participation. Money is raised to present to the victim organizations in the state, along with items made by inmates to be used by the organizations to auction or for a raffle.

This is a new beginning for the inmates, a time to realize the damage their actions have caused their victims and to give back to the community. It is a step forward in their taking responsibility for their victims. It is also a new beginning for the Division of Corrections to offer services to victims of crime.

Program Goals:

  • To assist victim organizations.
  • To establish a means in which, inmates can give back to the community.
  • To raise awareness of victims rights and issues in the correctional institutions and communities.

Offender Participation:

The West Virginia Division of Corrections, as of September 15, 2003, has 4,815 adult inmates housed in 12 facilities.

Victim Services Partners and/or Beneficiaries:

The West Virginia Division of Corrections Victim Services has established many new partnerships with “Operation: New Beginnings.” They are listed as follows:

  • The West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Parents of Murdered Children
  • Prosecutor-based advocates
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • WV Crime Compensation Fund

Many of our facilities have formed partnerships with different agencies in the effort to assist victims.

  • Huntington Work Release Center and Branches, Domestic Violence Shelter along with Cabell Huntington Hospital Neo-natal Unit.
  • Charleston Work Release and YWCA-Resolve Family Abuse
  • Mt. Olive Correctional Complex and Women’s Resource Center along with WV University Institute of Technology, and West Virginia State College.
  • Beckley Correctional Center and Women’s Resource Center
  • Huttonsville Correctional Center and Women’s Aid in Crisis
  • Lakin Correctional Center and Branches, Domestic Violence Shelter
  • Anthony Correctional Center and the Family Refuge Center
  • Northern Correctional Facility and YWCA-Family Violence Prevention Program Along with the Moundsville City Police Department
  • St. Mary’s Correctional Center and the Pleasants County Family Crisis Intervention Program

Program Activities

The outcomes listed below are from Operation: New Beginnings Crime Victim Awareness Month, April 2003.

Huttonsville Correctional Center:

1. Opening Ceremony: A ceremony was scheduled to be held by the flag pole at the entrance of the institution but was relocated to the staff building due to inclement weather conditions. The ceremony consisted of Marcia White, Executive Director of Women’s Aid in Crisis, as guest speaker, Chaplain Brake led a prayer, Warden Haines concluded the ceremony. Staff and select inmate representatives attended the ceremony.

2. Ribbon Drive: Blue & orange ribbons (colors for the month) were given to staff, all staff including contracted services (PSI-MED, Aramark, CMS), which were worn during the week.

3. Coloring Books: All inmates permitted to submit pictures to be judged for a coloring book. The committee received in excess of 100 pictures with volunteers from the Arts Council doing the judging. They selected 30 that were best suited for a children’s coloring book. The book was compiled with a color cover and 30 pictures varying from primary to more elaborate pictures. The books, along with a box of crayons, were given to various agencies such as Women’s Aid in Crisis, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and Parents of Murdered Children and to several county prosecutors’ advocates.

4. VVA Donation: VVA made a cash donation of $250.00, which was donated to Women’s Aid in Crisis.

5. Staff Donations: A large collection of items needed by the shelter was presented to Women’s Aid In Crisis by the staff.

6. Clothesline Project: The Therapeutic Community Lighthouse Project prepared a simulated clothesline in which each inmate decorated a t-shirt in honor of his or her victims. The project was displayed at the Federal Building in Elkins.

7. Benefit Breakfast: Project committee members prepared a delicious breakfast for staff who made donations. A total of $301.00 was raised and donated to Randolph County Homeless Shelter.

8. Inmate Play: The inmates prepared a play titled “DE’JA’Vu—My All American Family.” Inmates wrote the play, planned the scenes, props, and costumes, and wrote 11 songs that depicted the theme of the play. Approximately 50 inmates participated. Nearly 300 inmates as well as staff attended. This was a very emotional and well rehearsed play that received rave reviews.

9. Closing ceremony: Following the play, a closing ceremony was held in which Geneva Foster, Parents of Murdered Children was the guest speaker. Warden Haines presented Parents of Murdered Children, Women’s Aid in Crisis, Randolph Homeless Shelter, and Court Appointed Special Advocates with a cash donation.

10. Reception: All inmates and staff as well as representatives from the above mentioned agencies were invited to a reception that was held in the dining hall. Beautifully decorated with “Fulfill The Promise” theme decorations, sheet cakes were purchased by staff donations and donations from Aramark. This proved to be a positive atmosphere.

11. Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office sponsored a ”Lighting of Hope Ceremony” where Warden Haines was the guest speaker. Staff also attended.

Huttonsville sent t-shirts, pictures, coloring books, and a tape of the play to Victim Services Manager Sandi Jaynes.

Anthony Center:

1. Inmates drew posters which were put on display at the facility

2. Staff donated items to the Family Refuge Center

3. Inmates made quilts that were given to the Family Refuge Center

Beckley Correctional Center:

1. Held a car wash and raised $240.00, which was given to the Women’s Resource Center

2. Placed a display in Raleigh County Library

Denmar Correctional Center:

1. A short ceremony was held in the visitation building on April 18th, honoring victims of crime. The theme was “Victim’s Rights—Fulfill the Promise.”

2. Dennis Mynuk, Associate Warden of Security opened the program with a welcome to guests who included, Joe Callison, Pocahontas County Commissioner, Danette Condon, Family Refuge Center, Emily Huges from WVMR Radio Station, staff and inmates.

3. Chaplain Jerry Moore offered prayers for victims and offenders

4. Four inmates, members of the Denmar Correctional Center Violent Offender Counseling and Learning Group, spoke concerning the remorse and responsibility they felt about their crimes.

5. Ginger Lyall, Case Manager, spoke briefly; emphasizing the long recovery process victims of crime must deal with and the continuing need to provide resources to help victims recover, especially in the field of sexual assault and domestic violence.

6. Two Weeping Cherry Trees were planted outside the prison gates in honor of past, present, and future victims of crime

7. The ceremony closed with a prayer led by Chaplain Jerry Moore

8. Four white pigeons were released by Charlie Burke and Teresa Dunbrack

9. A bulletin board was designed to display artwork by Inmate Kamey Davis. The picture depicted domestic violence. Other pictures, ribbons, statistics, and information were also displayed.

10. Red white and blue lapel ribbons were made and distributed to staff and visitors to wear in honor of victims.

11. A poem “Weeping Cherry Tree” written by Charlie Burke was displayed.

12. An article about our program and victims’ need for additional and continuing resources was placed in two newspapers, The Valley Ranger and the Pocahontas Times.

Northern Correctional Center

1. Correctional Counselors, Rick Strait, and John Yoders went to the Marshall and Ohio County Courthouses to pass out information to the public on victim’s rights.

2. They also provided the Moundsville City Police Department with information about crime victims’ rights so they could help educate the public.

3. A poster pledge was held at the facility promoting victims’ rights

Lakin Correctional Center is the newest facility to open for female offenders. The facility had not been operational long when the staff began their project. They sold candles raising $128.00 to be given to Branches, the Domestic Violence Program that serves Mason County. Inmates wrote letters to their victims and they were displayed in the front lobby, along with statistics about different crimes and information for victims to gain resources.


Charleston Work Release Center

1. Created and submitted a bulletin board for Operation Reach Out in Town Center Mall

2. DeeDee Pauley, Secretary, Sharon Spurlock, Case Manager, and CO11Dannette Clark assisted by staffing the Victim Services Display at the Town Center

3. The Center flew the Victims Justice Flag for the month of April

Pruntytown established five main objectives for Victim Awareness Month:

1. Educate inmates and staff about victims and their rights
2. Enlighten inmates to the consequences of the crimes, giving them the opportunity to make an empathic statement to assume accountability for such
3. Educate all on the devastating results of domestic violence
4. Provide updates on crime statistics
5. Form alliances with agencies who assist victims

The Project consisted of the following:

1. Victim empathy statement exercise sheets were given to inmates so they could hold themselves accountable for their actions. A Victim Empathy Wall was placed in the dining hall to publicly display all the statements

2. Victims’ rights flyer and crime statements were posted on all housing units

3. Bulletin boards throughout the facility to inform and enlighten inmates and staff

4. 90 inmates and 10 staff members attended the Domestic Violence Presentation. Domestic Violence Director and a victim shared their experiences. It was a very powerful and informative presentation

5. Articles were prepared for the inmate and staff newsletters

6. We have planned future projects with the local Domestic Violence Shelter

Mt. Olive Correctional Complex had several projects:

1. Staff made peanut butter Easter eggs to sell

2. Staff worked with Red Fern Country Accents to sell candles

3. Staff designed and sold t-shirts and hats with the “Victim’s Rights—Fulfill the Promise” theme

4. Bucket Drive and community awareness project was held on Corridor G

5. Sold Krispy Kreme Donuts to inmates

6. Staff participated in Opening ceremony for Operation Reach Out

7. Staff participated in Victim’s Day at the Legislature

8. Staff participated in Operation Reach Out at Town Center Mall

9. Mt. Olive staff, inmates and community raised $1700.00

10. The proceeds will go to the building fund for the Children’s Advocacy Center in Kanawha County.

Huntington Work Release Center:

Pennies from Heaven: Resident Gerald Hunter (now on parole) came to me with this idea as part of our Victims Awareness Week Projects. Pennies From Heaven is a fund raising drive to assist TEAM for West Virginia, which provides programs for children who are victims of mental, physical and sexual abuse, including: Child Assault Prevention Project (CAP), Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA), Healthy Families America, New Steps and Prevention Child Abuse West Virginia. For this project, we obtained permission from a local grocery store to hand out information on Victims Services and collect donations from customers for TEAM West Virginia at their business location. Our residents got together to make up collection containers (a container was placed here in the Center as well). The residents greeted people as they went into the business and handed out hundreds of pamphlets on VINE and other victim services. We collected a total of $377.00.

Blankets for Babies: This idea came about after a counseling session where one of our residents was dealing with the death of her mother, guilt over her drug use and the feeling of never being able to do anything at this point to pay honor to her mother. When I asked her about good memories of her mother and the things they did, she told me that they use to crochet together. She was in agreement to teach others to crochet and make baby blankets to be given to babies born to drug addicted mothers. During NCVRW, we were able to present 24 hand crocheted baby blankets to the nurses at Cabell Huntington to be used by the Intensive Care Unit and given to these babies and their mothers when they leave the hospital. We hope to keep this as an ongoing project.

Clothing Distribution Project
We are regularly working with The Village Closet, a consignment shop in Barboursville, West Virginia. The owner of this shop allows us to pick up excess items, which are brought to the Center, sorted, and then distributed to Renaissance Center, a Center for women who are in long-term drug rehabilitation. We help provide clothing and toys for the children (the true victims of addiction) as well as household items for their new surroundings.

Items from this project are also given to Branches Domestic Violence Shelter. These items assist women and children in restructuring their lives in their new environment.

Playground Equipment for Renaissance Center
A large amount of playground equipment was purchased for the children of Renaissance Center last year and our residents noticed it lying on the ground in the boxes leaving approximately 25 children with nothing to play on. We checked into the situation and our residents volunteered to assemble the equipment for the children as part of our victim awareness efforts.

Swing Set
While assembling the playground we found that there was no swing set. Our residents purchased and assembled a new swing set for the children’s use at Renaissance.

Easter Basket Drive
Our residents took up a collection and donated $175.00 to the children at Renaissance to be used for an Easter Party, toys, and Easter Baskets.

Huntington Work Release Center inmates have also been doing repairs on the domestic violence shelter. All inmates at the Work Release Center are not incarcerated due to a violent crime.

Several facilities have taken “Operation: New Beginnings” a step farther than just two projects a year. They have formed yearlong projects with their community partners. They are:

· Mt. Olive Correctional Complex
· Huntington Work Release Center
· Charleston Work Release Center

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