Late last week I learned the state of West Virginia prison system transferred Austin Vantrease. He left his longtime abode at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail to new digs at the Martinsburg Correctional Facility. The Victim Information and Notification Everyday (a.k.a., VINE) alerts me in two ways; telephone and email. The alerts are either on the same day or next day of a transfer, depending on the time of transport and intake (they don’t call in the wee overnight hours, but I do get the email immediately). The automated system notifies me as soon as his custody is transferred. I often wonder if I know where Austin is even before he does.
The official mission statement of the Martinsburg Correctional Facility is:
“…to support the vision of the West Virginia Division of Corrections through effective intake, security and classification policies for an accurate diagnostic assessment on all inmates in an effort to increase the potential for successful reentry, reduce the rate of recidivism and thereby enhance safety and security for all citizens in the State of West Virginia.”
[Source: West Virginia Division of Corrections]
I included an updated mug shot of Austin Vantrease, current as of a week ago. For those who use Pinterest, this might be worth adding to your board. I can assure you I’ll add it soon after this post hits the internet! Don’t forget, you can follow Ryan’s Pinterest boards here.
In other words, it appears convicted felon Austin Issac Vantrease is applying for parole at (the minimum) two-year mark of his criminal sentence. Just to be clear, I have no firsthand knowledge that this is fact and it is not tied to the civil trials pending against him. What I’m doing here is simply trying to connect the dots. According to the same website, the Martinsburg Center is a diagnostic facility for Department of Corrections. Because this is an intake facility only, inmates stay there for only a short time before transfer to other facilities. After the inmates complete the intake process, they’re moved to another facility and are scheduled for a parole hearing at the next available date, as stated on the West Virginia Parole Board website. I suppose there are other reasons an inmate might go to the Martinsburg Correctional Facility, but I just don’t know of any.
Jonathan W. says
I am from Martinsburg. The Martinsburg Correctional Facility is located next to Eastern Regional Jail. Perhaps his worst punishment would be to be let loose in the City of Martinsburg, at a time and place that we’re all made aware of.
Felons probably spend their lifetime looking over their shoulders. Especially those convicted of violence and child crimes. Society holds a grudge (and I feel it is justified).
Keri Dezell says
ALWAYS. FOREVER. UNTIL.
With love and in prayer,
Keri, MY FRANKIE and Family
Carla Cushman Liberty via Facebook says
Stay strong Diviney family. You are being lifted in prayer. We are behind you; we will always have your back. <3
The parole board can count on a letter from me! If they do give this convicted felon parole the only positive would be an attachment of his wages if he is lucky enough to get a job. Not sure if anyone has filled out job applications recently, but they ALL ask now, ” Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor ?”. If you answer “yes”, you have to explain. Let me see, how would Austin phrase this…. My felony conviction was for kicking another student as he lay unconscious in the head several times. Yep you read it right, several times., I ran up to him like I was punting a football and kicked him in the head several times, just because he said “the Phillies suck”. My friend Jon May had just sucker punched him, yea you can watch the tape, this kid was back peddling, but we ran him down. A few of our friends just stood there and watched. And by the way, we hid around the dumpsters (like rats) and then went off to a party and bragged about this.
After reading any explanation for “kicking another human being in the head” not sure he will get a job from any employer. Keep him with his own kind…. in jail.
Dear God, it is so painful to read…
Ryan, in spite of the enormous physical damage they did to you, they could never take away your integrity, class and beautiful soul. May God help them for never offering whatever help they could to make your life better. The parole board may wonder about that too.
Ryan Diviney & family, we love you!!!
I see his parole hearing in 7/19. I hope the system gives you time to get there and tells about Ryans continued care.
Also if I can write a letter I would be interested. Please let all of us know. In the meantime I will start with a letter on my own just based of fact from the Ryan’s Rally; We Got This website.
Katie I. says
If he IS going for a parole hearing in July can we write letters to the Parole Board?
I don’t see why not. I’ll see if I can track down the mailing/email address later today or tomorrow.
Yes please do! I know many people would write letters!!
Good Morning Diviney Family
Well, wasnt expecting to see Vantrease’s face this morning. After reading entry and reading info attached to his transfer, it’s disturbing to see that his next (first) parole hearing is on July 12th. It has not felt like an eternity as far as Vantrease’s imprisonment goes.
How does that work? Will they notify you of upcoming parole hearing? My morning coffee tasting bitter right now.
Yes, I will be notified and have an opportunity to speak. In reality, the decision will already be made before the hearing anyhow.
Thank you Ken for quick response. Today’s post is making me anxious. I can’t stomach the thought that he is being considered for parole. Do you have any insight about his odds? Do they usually parole individuals after ‘minimum’ sentence for this type of conviction? You mentioned that even before hearing takes place a decisions already made.. I think letters are needed to assist parole board in their decision!
Gail Doyle says
Ken,If that’s the reason he was transferred ,to apply for early parole,I sure hope that doesn’t happen! Anyone who deserves a longer sentence ,it’s him. To do what he did to Ryan was unthinkable. And Ryan and your family can’t ask for “early” parole. Stay strong and things will get better Ken…..Love Gail