West Virginia

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Making affordable health care a reality in West Virginia

The Case for Medicaid Expansion cover

"The case for medicaid expansion" report cover

Cover for The Case for Medicaid Expansion, shot by AFSC's West Virginia Economic Justice Project staff member Beth Spence

When the Supreme Court made it optional for states to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income workers, AFSC and a coalition of organizations pushed expansion in West Virginia.

Coal-country teenager wants better resources to keep peers in school

Kyra Wells

ACE participant Kyra Wells.

A sophmore from Logan advocates for teens at the West Virginia Capitol.

Youth asks West Virginia to reform prisons, for children's sake

Jasmine talking to Channel 13

Jasmine Murphy, sophmore at Logan High School, speaking up for prison reform 

Editor's note: Not long after Jasmine addressed the legislature, SB 379—the state's prison overcrowding billwas passed. It gives judges the authority to grant early releases to nonviolent offenders, categorizes offenders in terms of risks vs. needs and treating them appropriately, and addresses technical parole violations that shorten time spent back in prison.

“I want to share with you a little bit about my life because I hope that maybe if I speak up, people who make the decisions that affect so many people’s lives will listen.”

The growing problems of the prison system

razor wire

fence outside a Michigan prison

Fence outside a Michigan prison

According to the Bureau for Justice Statistics, the number of adult federal and state prison inmates increased from 139 per 100,000 residents in 1980 to 502 per 100,000 in 2009 — an increase of 261 percent. Over two million Americans are now incarcerated in prisons or jails and the total number of Americans under some form of penal supervision (including jail, prison, parole and probation) is over 7.2 million.

Stemming the tide: the racial and economic impacts of West Virginia's prison system

Stemming the Tide Cover

Photo © Cico

Despite little growth in either its population or crime rate, West Virginia has seen a marked increase in the number of people housed in its corrections facilities. As the state's prisons become overcrowded, West Virginia is facing a corrections crisis that not only impacts the state's budget but also the low-income and minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by drug addiction and substance abuse issues that land them in prison instead of treatment programs.

Legacy of inequality: Racial and economic disparities in West Virginia

Legacy of Inequality Cover

Cover photo credits: Tony Clark, Jane Dillard, Edna Green, James Hagwood, Joan Hairston, Ben Shahn

The report, “Legacy of Inequality: Racial and Economic Disparities in West Virginia” includes a sobering analysis of Census and other data conducted by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, the Partnership of African-American Churches and the American Friends Service Committee.

AFSC South Star Spring Newsletter

The South Star newsletter for AFSC's South Region.

Upper Big Branch families plead for Congressional action on mine safety

Carrying enlarged photographs of their lost loved ones, family members of three of the 29 miners killed in the 2010 explosion at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine spent June 6-7 in Washington, D.C., pleading with lawmakers to take action to improve mine safety and to stiffen penalties for mining companies that knowingly, willingly, and recklessly place miners’ lives at risk.

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AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

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