Out of control prison costs in WV: Magistrate court partially to - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Out of control prison costs in WV: Magistrate court partially to blame?

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In June, Rainelle's police chief J.P. Stevens held a news conference which expressed concern over one Greenbrier County magistrate's timeliness in issuing search warrants, which Stevens said delayed justice and put community members in danger.

Since then, Stevens told 59News that the entire process is faster, allowing for quicker arrests.

But now, the county magistrate courts are faced with new allegations that they are being paid without providing services.

A petition, signed by members of several counties, to the Attorney General Morrisey states that the magistrate courts are getting by on the taxpayers dime.

By being unavailable between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., the petition states, those arrested after 10 p.m. without being arraigned cost $48 and then another $48 after midnight. Individuals arrested without receiving a bond cannot leave jail and continue to cost tax payers.

Petitioners want the magistrates to have round the clock coverage to keep the jail bill from rising.

No word at this time if the supreme court of appeals have looked into this matter. Magistrates could not comment due to the judicial code of conduct.