I knew about custody transfer of Austin Vantrease’s even before being notified by the Victim Hotline. The update was posted to their website on the day it occurred. By all indications, he was transferred from the Martinsburg Correctional Facility and accepted into Huttonsville Correctional Center on June 27th. Here is the booking mug shot. You can scroll your cursor over it to enlarge the photo (don’t forget to pin it to your Pinterest):
What does this all mean? I have no earthly idea. The West Virginia Department of Corrections website doesn’t name its current security level. I know it is at least a medium-security male facility (that’s what is was before the state change its name in 1970), but there are many references to it being a maximum security center. Either way, it has very dangerous people there.
As I understand it, he is no longer bouncing around among regional jails (short-term holding) and is in now in a full-blown prison (long-term custody). I wouldn’t read anything in to it as it relates to a parole request, which he is apparently eligible for in July. Yes, it could mean parole was denied, but it could as easily mean that was the only facility with an open bed. I suppose we’ll all know in due time.
I thought you might be interested in how I’m notified of Vantrease’s whereabouts. I have three ways.
- The West Virginia Department of Corrections Website. Specifically the Offender Search tool.
- Telephone Notification. This is typically sent the day following custody transfer. It is an automated call to me that says the same thing as is written in the email notification (see below), but only alerts me during certain hours. Hey, I don’t want to be bothered in the middle of the night.
- E-mail Notification. This also usually comes in the following day, but at any hour. Here is an example of what I receive:
From: WV DOC VINE <email@example.com>
Date: June 29, 2012 5:21:03 AM EDT
Subject: A message from WV DOC VINE
Reply-To: The VINE Service <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This e-mail is to inform you that AUSTIN VANTREASE has been transferred from Martinsburg Correctional Center as of 6/28/2012. The offender is now in the custody of Huttonsville Correctional Center. Your registration with VINE has also been transferred. You will continue to receive updates about this offender.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the Division of Correction’s Central Office during business hours by calling (304) 558-2036. After hours, please contact the Charleston Work Release Center by calling (304) 558-2763.
This notification is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Corrections’ Victim Notification Service. It is our hope that this information has been helpful to you.
West Virginia Division of Corrections
On the subject of Austin Vantrease’s parole, I know absolutely nothing about its status. You can count on me letting you know when I find out more. Good or bad, I’ll keep you informed. In the meantime, if anyone has information about Huttonsville Prison I’d like to hear about it.