The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 22, 2013

Search underway for missing Beckley inmate

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — West Virginia State Police were searching Tuesday afternoon for a man who escaped from Beckley Correctional Facility Monday night.

Joshua D. Greenwood was serving a five-year sentence on grand larceny charges out of Cabell County. Department of Corrections Director Jim Rubenstein said that Greenwood was in a work release program for inmates, which is the lowest level of security at the facility.

“Those folks in that stage, they’re sort of on their last leg of incarceration,” Rubenstein said. “They’ve earned the right to work in the community, earned passes for furlough to go to the approved home plan, sort of reintegrating into society. So they’re in a great position to escape.”

Rubenstein said Greenwood had been on an approved pass for around two hours Monday and had signed back into the facility. At a formal headcount around 90 minutes later, Greenwood was not present, said Rubenstein. He was reported missing around 10:15 p.m.

According to the commissioner, Greenwood’s release date was in 2015, but he would’ve been eligible for parole in July.

Work-release programs do not accept violent offenders generally, said Rubenstein. His office had no record of violent crimes committed by Greenwood. The only crime listed with the Department of Corrections was the grand larceny charge, according to Commission officials.

Greenwood will be charged with felony escape when he is apprehended, said Rubenstein.

He urged inmates to think about the consequences of an escape and pointed out that most work-release prisoners follow the rules.

“Our hope is, they’re looking at the big picture of where they are and how close they are to reentering society,” he said. “The majority appreciate the privilege, and they respect and abide by the laws that exist.”

The escaped inmate is described as a 6-foot-2 white male with brown hair and blue eyes, weighing around 175 pounds. He has a tattoo of the letters WV on his forearm.

Police asked that anyone who knows of Greenwood’s location to call 911 or the State Police.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com