1997 Regular Session
To: Juvenile Justice
By: Representative Moore
House Bill 559
AN ACT TO REQUIRE A PARENT OR GUARDIAN TO SPEND NIGHTS IN CUSTODY WITH CERTAIN JUVENILE OFFENDERS; TO REQUIRE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO NOTIFY PARENTS AND GUARDIANS UPON TAKING CUSTODY OF A CHILD AT SCHOOL; TO BRING FORWARD FOR PURPOSES OF AMENDMENT SECTIONS 43-21-151 AND 43-21-605, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDE FOR THE JURISDICTION OF YOUTH COURT AND DISPOSITION ALTERNATIVE IN DELINQUENCY CASES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) A parent or legal guardian of any child under the age of fifteen (15) who is convicted of a felony which results in incarceration or other physical confinement of such child shall be confined with such child during the nighttime hours of such confinement for the duration of the sentence.
(2) If a law enforcement officer takes custody of a child at school, the officer shall immediately notify the parents or guardians of such child that the child has been taken into custody.
SECTION 2. Section 43-21-151, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-21-151. (1) The youth court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all proceedings concerning a delinquent child, a child in need of supervision, a neglected child, an abused child or a dependent child except in the following circumstances:
(a) Any act attempted or committed by a child, which if committed by an adult would be punishable under state or federal law by life imprisonment or death, will be in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court;
(b) Any act attempted or committed by a child with the use of a deadly weapon, the carrying of which concealed is prohibited by Section 97-37-1, or a shotgun or a rifle, which would be a felony if committed by an adult, will be in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court; and
(c) When a charge of abuse of a child first arises in the course of a custody action between the parents of the child already pending in the chancery court and no notice of such abuse was provided prior to such chancery proceedings, the chancery court may proceed with the investigation, hearing and determination of such abuse charge as a part of its hearing and determination of the custody issue as between the parents, notwithstanding the other provisions of the Youth Court Law. The proceedings in chancery court on the abuse charge shall be confidential in the same manner as provided in youth court proceedings.
When a child is expelled from the public schools, the youth court shall be notified of the act of expulsion and the act or acts constituting the basis for expulsion.
(2) Jurisdiction of the child in the cause shall attach at the time of the offense and shall continue thereafter for that offense until the child's twentieth birthday, unless sooner terminated by order of the youth court. The youth court shall not have jurisdiction over offenses committed by a child on or after his eighteenth birthday, or over offenses committed by a child on or after his seventeenth birthday where such offenses would be a felony if committed by an adult.
(3) No child who has not reached his thirteenth birthday shall be held criminally responsible or criminally prosecuted for a misdemeanor or felony; however, the parent, guardian or custodian of such child may be civilly liable for any criminal acts of such child. No child under the jurisdiction of the youth court shall be held criminally responsible or criminally prosecuted by any court for any act designated as a delinquent act, unless jurisdiction is transferred to another court under Section 43-21-157.
(4) The youth court shall also have jurisdiction of offenses committed by a child which have been transferred to the youth court by an order of a circuit court of this state having original jurisdiction of the offense, as provided by Section 43-21-159.
(5) The youth court shall regulate and approve the use of teen court as provided in Section 2 of Senate Bill No. 2572, 1996 Regular Session.
SECTION 3. Section 43-21-605, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-21-605. (1) In delinquency cases, the disposition order may include any of the following alternatives or combination of the following alternatives, giving precedence in the following sequence:
(a) Release the child without further action;
(b) Place the child in the custody of the parents, a relative or other persons subject to any conditions and limitations, including restitution, as the youth court may prescribe;
(c) Place the child on probation subject to any reasonable and appropriate conditions and limitations, including restitution, as the youth court may prescribe;
(d) Order terms of treatment calculated to assist the child and the child's parents or guardian which are within the ability of the parent or guardian to perform;
(e) Order terms of supervision which may include participation in a constructive program of service or education or civil fines not in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or restitution not in excess of actual damages caused by the child to be paid out of his own assets or by performance of services acceptable to the victims and approved by the youth court and reasonably capable of performance within one (1) year;
(f) Suspend the child's driver's license by taking and keeping it in custody of the court for not more than one (1) year;
(g) Give legal custody of the child to any of the following:
(i) The Department of Human Services for appropriate placement; or
(ii) Any public or private organization, preferably community-based, able to assume the education, care and maintenance of the child, which has been found suitable by the court; or
(iii) The Department of Human Services for placement in a wilderness training program or a state-supported training school, except that no child under the age of ten (10) years shall be committed to a state training school. The training school may retain custody of the child until the child's twentieth birthday but for no longer. The superintendent of a state training school may parole a child at any time he may deem it in the best interest and welfare of such child. Twenty (20) days prior to such parole, the training school shall notify the committing court of the pending release. The youth court may then arrange subsequent placement after a reconvened disposition hearing except that the youth court may not recommit the child to the training school or any other secure facility without an adjudication of a new offense or probation or parole violation. Prior to assigning the custody of any child to any private institution or agency, the youth court through its designee shall first inspect the physical facilities to determine that they provide a reasonable standard of health and safety for the child. The youth court shall not place a child in the custody of a state training school for truancy, unless such child has been adjudicated to have committed an act of delinquency in addition to truancy; or
(h) Recommend to the child and the child's parents or guardian that the child attend and participate in the Youth Challenge Program under the Mississippi National Guard, as created in Section 43-27-203, subject to the selection of the child for the program by the National Guard; however, the child must volunteer to participate in the program. The youth court may not order any child to apply or attend the program.
(2) In addition to any of the disposition alternatives authorized under subsection (1) of this section, the disposition order in any case in which the child is adjudicated delinquent for an offense under Section 63-11-30 shall include an order denying the driver's license and driving privileges of the child as required under subsection (8) of Section 63-11-30.
(3) Fines levied under this chapter shall be paid into the general fund of the county but, in those counties wherein the youth court is a branch of the municipal government, it shall be paid into the municipal treasury.
(4) Any institution or agency to which a child has been committed shall give to the youth court any information concerning the child as the youth court may at any time require.
(5) The youth court shall not place a child in another school district who has been expelled from a school district for the commission of a violent act. For the purpose of this subsection, "violent act" means any action which results in death or physical harm to another or an attempt to cause death or physical harm to another.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.