WV Supreme Court issues policy for sentencings - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Supreme Court issues policy for sentencings

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Organizers prepare for the 24th annual Chili Night in Uptown Beckley

    Organizers prepare for the 24th annual Chili Night in Uptown Beckley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:34 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:34:46 GMT
    The 24th annual Chili Night in Uptown Beckley is quickly approaching. It's a time for local eateries to cook up their best batch of the hearty meal. The competition involves more than 40 participants, three stages of entertainment, vendors, ride and slide activities for kids and more.
    The 24th annual Chili Night in Uptown Beckley is quickly approaching. It's a time for local eateries to cook up their best batch of the hearty meal. The competition involves more than 40 participants, three stages of entertainment, vendors, ride and slide activities for kids and more.
  • Is the iCloud secure? After a celebrity leak, What You can do to Make sure your Information is Safe

    Is the iCloud secure? After a celebrity leak, What You can do to Make sure your Information is Safe

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:33:47 GMT
    We wanted to know just what you can do to make sure your information isn't leaked. Although there's many benefits to "cloud" services, authorities now caution against keeping your private information online.
    We wanted to know just what you can do to make sure your information isn't leaked. Although there's many benefits to "cloud" services, authorities now caution against keeping your private information online.
  • Soon all police will be wearing body cameras

    Soon all police will be wearing body cameras

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:37:42 GMT
    A nationwide debate is taking place after an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri .Ferguson cops were given body cameras by two companies after allegations have been made against protesters, who are outraged by the shooting.Soon police around the country could be wearing body cameras.
    A nationwide debate is taking place after an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri .Ferguson cops were given body cameras by two companies after allegations have been made against protesters, who are outraged by the shooting.Soon police around the country could be wearing body cameras.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has issued a new policy directive that will give circuit judges more information about persons found guilty of felonies before they impose sentences.

According to the court's news release, the state Supreme Court approved the policy directive at its January administrative conference.

Beginning Aug. 1, each felon in circuit court will be administered a risk and needs assessment test before sentencing.

The results of the assessment would be available for the circuit court judges' consideration before sentencing.

"This change in policy is largely due to the work of the Justice Center," said Steve Canterbury, administrative director of the court.

Canterbury notified justices of the Justice Center's findings. That research helped the court reach the conclusion that judges should have more information when imposing a sentence.

"This assessment gives each judge objective information about the likelihood of the felon re-offending and what needs must be met to prevent such recidivism," Canterbury said in the release.

Probation officers will administer the test, and the results will be included in the pre-sentence investigation reports.

These tests cost approximately $3 each. In 2011, there were approximately 8,000 findings of guilt. The court estimated in the release that training probation officers to administer the test could cost about $25,000.

"Many of our probation officers, such as those who work with treatment courts, have already been trained," Mike Lacy, director of probation services, said in the release. "My staff and I have devised a plan to use a train-the-trainer approach to cut costs, maximize efficiency, and meet the August deadline."