H. B. 2779
(By Delegates Caputo, Manchin,
Prunty, Rowe and C. White)
[Introduced February 16, 1999; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section fifteen, article five,
chapter forty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
limiting the number of cases that juvenile probation
officers are required to handle, and preventing juvenile
contact with adult probationers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section fifteen, article five, chapter forty-nine of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS.
§49-5-15. Juvenile probation officers; appointment; salary;
facilities; expenses; duties; powers.
(a) (1) Each circuit court, subject to the approval of the
supreme court of appeals and in accordance with the rules of the supreme court of appeals, shall appoint one or more juvenile
probation officers and clerical assistants for the circuit.
Probation officers shall not be required to supervise more than
one hundred active court cases. A probation officer or clerical
assistant may not be related by blood or marriage to the
(2) The salary for juvenile probation officers and clerical
assistants shall be determined and fixed by the supreme court of
appeals. All expenses and costs incurred by the juvenile
probation officers and their staff shall be paid by the supreme
court of appeals in accordance with its rules. The county
commission of each county shall provide adequate office
facilities for juvenile probation officers and their staff. All
equipment and supplies required by juvenile probation officers
and their staff shall be provided by the supreme court of
(3) A juvenile probation officer may not be considered a
law-enforcement official under any provision of this chapter.
(4) No juvenile delinquent shall be detained or confined in
any room in any facility in which he or she has contact with or
comes within sight or sound of any adult probationer previously
sentenced for the commission of a felony.
(b) The clerk of a court shall notify, if practicable, the chief probation officer of the county, or his or her designee,
when a juvenile is brought before the court or judge for
proceedings under this article. When notified, or if the
probation officer otherwise obtains knowledge of such fact, he or
she or one of his or her assistants shall:
(1) Make investigation of the case; and
(2) Furnish information and assistance that the court or
judge may require.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to limit the caseload
that juvenile probation officers maintain so that they may
properly supervise special needs juveniles, thereby preventing
some of those children from being placed in group homes; the
purpose is also to ensure that juvenile offenders do not
associate with adult felons while on probation.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.