Huntington Herald-Dispatch – A law taking effect June 9 aims to help tackle the increasing number of capias arrests and reduce the state’s jail population.
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Passed in the 2023 legislative session, Senate Bill 633 establishes a uniform standard for addressing and streamlining capias arrests, also known as bench warrants, which have significantly increased the number of people entering West Virginia jails, according to the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy.
In a recent blog post, Sara Whitaker, the center’s criminal legal policy analyst, wrote that, from 2012 to 2022, capias arrests rose from 1,990 to 4,936, making up one in eight jail admissions in the state. This increase in capias arrests has contributed to the expansion of the jail population, despite declining crime rates and fewer criminal cases being filed, according to Whitaker.