1997 Regular Session
To: Juvenile Justice; Appropriations
By: Representative Scott (80th)
House Bill 1665
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-621, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE OFFICE OF YOUTH SERVICES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES TO DEVELOP AN AFTERCARE PROGRAM FOR YOUTH WHO COMPLETE THEIR SENTENCE AND REENROLL IN SCHOOL; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-621, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-621. (1) The youth court * * *, in compliance with the laws governing education of children, may order any state-supported public school in its jurisdiction after notice and hearing to enroll or reenroll any compulsory-school-age child in school, and further order appropriate educational services. * * * However, * * * the youth court shall not order the enrollment or reenrollment of a student that has been suspended or expelled by a public school pursuant to Section 37-9-71 or 37-7-301 for possession of a weapon on school grounds, for an offense involving a threat to the safety of other persons or for the commission of a violent act. For the purpose of this section "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. The superintendent of the school district to which the child is ordered may * * * assign the child to the alternative school program of the school established pursuant to Section 37-13-92, Mississippi Code of 1972. The court shall have jurisdiction to enforce school and education laws. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the attendance of a child in a legitimate home instruction program.
(2) The youth court may specify the following conditions of probation related to any juvenile ordered to enroll or reenroll in school: That the juvenile maintain passing grades in up to four (4) courses during each grading period and meet with the court counselor and a representative of the school to make a plan for how to maintain those passing grades.
(3) If the adjudication of delinquency was for an offense involving a threat to the safety of the juvenile or others and school attendance is a condition of probation, the youth court judge shall make a finding that the principal of the juvenile's school should be notified. If the judge orders that the principal be notified, the youth court counselor shall within five (5) days or before the juvenile begins to attend school, whichever occurs first, notify the principal of the juvenile's school in writing of the nature of the offense and the probation requirements related to school attendance. A principal notified by a juvenile court counselor shall handle the report according to the guidelines and rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
(4) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall report to the Legislature on the number of juveniles reported to principals in accordance with this section no later than January 1, 1996.
(5) The Office of Youth Services of the Department of Human Services shall develop an aftercare program for any youth who has completed his or her sentence imposed by the youth court and is reenrolled in school.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1996.