In 2012, Kindra Simpson was sentenced to prison for five years. Because of lack of space in Lakin Correctional Center, she served 15 months in Western Regional Jail and about four-to-five months in Tygart Valley Regional Jail before spending the last three months of her sentence in Lakin. Jails don’t offer the same educational and rehabilitation resources as prisons, and inmates aren’t able to work to earn money for commissary during their time in jail.
“You really see how mental illness runs rampant, especially when I got up into the Tygart Valley area, because that’s three-and-a-half hours from my home. I only got visitors twice while I was there,” Simpson said.
Because she spent so much time in regional jail, there wasn’t enough time left for her to take part in the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program when she arrived at Lakin.
“Incarceration is not rehabilitation in any form. What was the point of keeping me locked up for all that time just to release me back out to a world that I don’t know anymore?” Simpson asked.
Video by Shelby Thoburn and Morgan Veltri