Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

January 22, 2013

Presentence assessments required for W.Va. felons

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — All convicted felons in West Virginia courts will be required to undergo presentencing tests under a new state Supreme Court policy.

Court administrator Steve Canterbury said Tuesday the policy will become effective on Aug. 1. The policy was approved at the court's administrative conference this month.

Canterbury says the assessments will give circuit judges more information about the likelihood of a felon committing another crime and what needs must be met to prevent that.

Canterbury calls the tests "another took at the judge's disposal to help enhance public safety."

He says every felon will undergo the assessment whether or not there is a pre-sentencing investigation. The tests will be included in those investigation reports.

Training probation officers to administer the tests will cost the court system about $25,000.

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