Home Confinement numbers down in Wood County

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Home confinement is seen as an alternative to jail time for offenders-and one way of keeping Wood County's regional jail bill from being too expensive.

But recently, the number of people on home confinement has been just above 30. It currently is 33.

In the past, as many as 60 have been in the program.

Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens says the difference could be the number committed to home confinement-a decision made by judges and magistrates.

But eligibility is another factor.

"When people are put on home confinement," the sheriff explains,"they are going to get their houses checked, and they are going to be required to take drug tests. Not everyone is a very good candidate to remain on home confinement. We have a lot of violations."

The sheriff says the monthly regional jail bill recently has held steady at $160,000, in spite of the decline in home confinement offenders.

Before the state of West Virginia's Division of Corrections took over operation of the county holding center in 2018, it was as high as $225,000.