Agreement reached on ensuring inmates pay court costs

CHARLESTON, W.Va.— An information-sharing agreement between the state Supreme Court and the regional jail system will ensure that inmates pay their court-ordered fines and fees.

The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety announced the agreement Thursday. It will allow the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority to check whether new inmates owe magistrate court costs.

Officials say in a news release that to address the debts of inmates, a jail can withhold money in their possession and take up to one-half of funds deposited in an inmate’s commissary account. The courts can then redistribute the money to areas that rely on these fines and fees.

Court-ordered assessments pay for security measures and improvements at county courthouse facilities, partially reimburse counties and municipalities for inmate jail costs, and help pay off regional jail construction bonds.

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