Acting Commissioner, Loita Butcher
Loita Butcher was appointed to the position of Acting Commissioner, effective April 1, 2017. Loita began her career with the WVDOC at the Central Office in March 1994, as the Secretary of the Legal Division. In July 1995, she accepted the position of Legislative Analyst in the WV Legislature and then returned to the DOC in April 1996 as the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner. Most recently she served as the Chief of Staff for the WVDOC. Prior to her career with Corrections, Loita served as the Legal Assistant in the Clay County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Loita has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement and corrections fields.
In FY 2015, Ms. Butcher submitted legislative requests for every agency under the umbrella of Military Affairs and Public Safety to include the Cabinet Secretary’s Office, National Guard, Division of Corrections, Correctional Industries, Justice and Community Services, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Fire Marshal, Juvenile Services, Parole Board, Protective Services, Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, West Virginia State Police and Veteran’s Affairs. A bill is an idea for a new law, or an idea to change or do away with an existing law. Hundreds of bills enter the legislative process in West Virginia each time the Legislature meets. Two groups of elected citizens - 34 senators and 100 delegates - study, discuss and vote on bills, and in doing so act for the people of West Virginia. Bills enter the legislative process either through the House of Delegates or the Senate, but to become a law, a bill must pass both chambers and avoid a governor’s veto.
The following is a brief synopsis of some of the bills, Ms. Butcher submitted to the Legislature and were passed during the 2015 Legislative Session:
SB374 – Permitting in abstentia parole hearings in certain instances (effective March 6, 2015): This Act provides that the requirement that an inmate personally appear for a parole hearing may be waived in cases where a physician authorized to do so by the Commissioner of Corrections certifies that the inmate, due to a medical condition or disease, is too debilitated, either physically or cognitively, to appear.HB-2200 - Revising, rearranging, consolidating and recodifying the laws of the State of West Virginia relating to child welfare (Effective February 16, 2015) Specifically, section §49-4-722. Conviction for offense while in custody.
- Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person who is eighteen years of age or older, who is convicted as an adult of an offense that he or she committed while in the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services and, who is therefore sentenced to a regional jail or state correctional facility for the offense may not be returned to the custody of the division upon completion of his or her adult sentence until a hearing is held before the court which committed the person to the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services at which hearing the division may present any objections it may have to return the person to its custody. If the division does object and the court overrules the division’s objections, it shall make specific written findings as to its rationale for overruling the objections.
- No person who is eighteen years of age or older who is convicted as an adult of a felony crime of violence against the person while in the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services be returned to the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services upon completion of his or her adult sentence.
HB2025 – Prohibiting certain sex offenders from loitering within 1,000 feet of a school or child care facility (effective May 26, 2015): This Act does just as the title states: prohibits sex offenders on extended supervision from loitering within one thousand feet of a school or child care facility.
HB2274 – Authorizing the Commissioner of Corrections to enter into Mutual Aid Agreements (effective May 21, 2015): This Act gives the Commissioner of Corrections, with the consent of the Secretary of DMAPS, the authority to enter into and sign Mutual Aid Agreements with other entities.
HB2606 – Clarifying the potential sentence for disorderly conduct (Effective June 9, 2015): This Act clarifies that a person convicted of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, may be confined in jail instead of the DOC for twenty-four hours, or fined not more than $100.
Acting Deputy Commissioner, Paul Simmons
Paul began his career with the Division of Corrections at the West Virginia Penitentiary in July of 1987 as a Correctional Officer I and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and then Lieutenant. He was part of the transition team for closing the Penitentiary and opening the Mount Olive Correctional Complex. In February of 1998, Paul transferred to Saint Marys Correctional Center and in October of that same year joined the staff at Northern Correctional Center where he became the Associate Warden of Security in November, 2012. Paul also served as Northern Regional CERT Commander from 2001 to 2012. Paul was appointed as the Assistant Commissioner for the WV Division of Corrections on August 2, 2015, and then made Acting Deputy Commissioner effective May 27, 2017.
Acting Assistant Commissioner, Scott Patterson
Scott W. Patterson began his career with the West Virginia Division of Corrections in 1992. He served as Warden at Anthony Correctional Center from June of 1998 until July of 2007 when he accepted a position with the Department of Justice in Iraq.
He returned to the WV Division of Corrections in 2011 when he was once again appointed as the Warden of Anthony Correction Center. Her served in that capacity until he accepted the position of Director of Compliance and Audits in January of 2015. In January of 2017, he became the Director of the West Virginia Corrections Academy.
On May 27, 2017, Scott was made the Acting Assistant Commissioner.
Acting Chief of Staff, Anne Thomas
Ms. Thomas began her career with the WV Division of Corrections Mount Olive Correctional Complex in 1999. She has served as an Office Assistant II, Correctional Counselor I, Correctional Counselor II, Correctional Case Manager, Correctional Program Specialist, and Unit Manager at MOCC. She served as Associate Warden of Programs at Lakin Correctional Center in 2007 and as Central Office Director of Classification prior to becoming appointed Warden at PBCC on September 1, 2012. In addition to her corrections experience, Ms. Thomas graduated from the College of West Virginia in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences.