However, House leaders have proved difficult to persuade.
House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, and House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, both told the Daily Mail last week they supported supervised release but the supervised release of prisoners in Tomblin's bill seemed too "random" for their taste.
Even after Tuesday's changes, Armstead said he still was opposed to the early-out provisions remaining in the bill. He predicts there will be more changes to the bill once it reaches the House floor.
"I think all of us are in support of supervision. The bill, even as it was amended, it requires supervision for those who are violent offenders but doesn't let them out early to do it. That's the way we think nonviolent offenders should be treated as well," Armstead said.
"There shouldn't be a need to release them early. The argument is, we'll release them six months early and it will have some costs savings. I don't think the cost savings would be worth the risk involved in doing that."
House Judiciary Committee members also approved other changes to the prison reform legislation, requiring all state counties to have a drug court in place by July 2014. Members passed the amendment on a contentious 14-11 vote.
In a meeting a few hours later, the House Finance Committee unanimously adopted an amendment to push that deadline to July 2016.
Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, introduced the original Judiciary Committee amendment. He said drug courts should be expanded statewide because they are an effective way of treating addicts and preventing them from committing future crimes.
Delegate Justin Marcum, D-Mingo, spoke against Lane's amendment. Marcum, an assistant prosecuting attorney, said the state Supreme Court already has authority to expand drug courts statewide and action by the Legislature to expand the program would be "an overstep."
"What's right for Kanawha County might not be right for Mingo County. I don't think it's our authority to be telling the Supreme Court what to do," he said.
Thirty counties currently participate in drug court programs.
In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin said he would not support a mandatory expansion of drug courts.
He said the counties currently participating are doing so because they want to, and drug courts might not be as successful if counties were forced to participate.
Delegate Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, introduced an amendment in the House Finance Committee to push back the deadline for drug court expansion to July 2016. Skaff said he was concerned one year wasn't long enough to get all the counties onboard. Committee members unanimously improved the amendment.
The bill to address prison overcrowding will reach the House floor today. Unless House leaders sideline the measure, the bill should come up for a final vote in the chamber on Friday.
If it passes, the legislation must return to the Senate for members to approve House changes.
If the Senate doesn't, the bill would be assigned to a joint House-Senate committee to work out a compromise.
However, time is running out. All bills that will pass this year must clear the House and Senate before midnight Saturday, the 60th day of the regular legislative session.