2000 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Jackson, Simmons, Harden, Jordan, Horhn
Senate Bill 2800
(As Passed the Senate)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 47-7-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXTEND THE REPEALER ON THE STATE PAROLE BOARD; TO AMEND SECTION 47-7-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; TO AMEND SECTION 47-5-1003, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE ELIGIBILITY FOR HOUSE ARREST; TO CREATE CODE SECTION 47-7-72, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS FROM ACCEPTING FOR SUPERVISION AN OUT-OF-STATE PAROLEE WHO HAS THREE OR MORE VIOLENT FELONY CONVICTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 47-7-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-7-5. (1) The State Parole Board, created under former Section 47-7-5, is hereby created, continued and reconstituted and shall be composed of five (5) members, one (1) from each congressional district. The Governor shall appoint the members with the advice and consent of the Senate. The terms of the members serving on the board from Supreme Court districts shall expire on June 30, 1997. The three (3) members may be reappointed to the board. The terms of the members of the reconstituted board shall begin on July 1, 1997. All terms shall be coterminous with the term of the Governor. Any vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The board shall elect a chairman of the board annually. No member may serve consecutive terms as chairman.
(2) Any person who is appointed to serve on the board shall possess at least a bachelor's degree or a high school diploma and four (4) years' work experience. Each member shall devote his full time to the duties of his office and shall not engage in any other business or profession or hold any other public office. A member shall not receive compensation or per diem in addition to his salary as prohibited under Section 25-3-38. Each member shall keep such hours and workdays as required of full-time state employees under Section 25-1-98. Individuals shall be appointed to serve on the board without reference to their political affiliations. Each board member, including the chairman, may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses as authorized by Section 25-3-41; but a member shall not be reimbursed for travel expenses from his residence to the nearest state penitentiary. In addition, a member must use a state vehicle, if available, for travel and a member who refuses to use an available state vehicle shall not receive reimbursement for mileage expenses for use of a privately owned motor vehicle.
(3) The board shall have exclusive responsibility for the granting of parole as provided by Sections 47-7-3 and 47-7-17 and shall have exclusive authority for revocation of the same. The board shall have exclusive responsibility for investigating clemency recommendations upon request of the Governor.
(4) The board, its members and staff shall be immune from civil liability for any official acts taken in good faith and in exercise of the board's legitimate governmental authority.
(5) The budget of the board shall be funded through a separate line item within the general appropriation bill for the support and maintenance of the department. Employees of the department which are employed by or assigned to the board shall work under the guidance and supervision of the board. There shall be an executive secretary to the board who shall be responsible for all administrative and general accounting duties related to the board. The executive secretary shall keep and preserve all records and papers pertaining to board.
(6) The board shall have no authority or responsibility for supervision of offenders granted probation, parole or executive clemency or other offenders requiring the same through interstate compact agreements. The supervision shall be provided exclusively by the staff of the Division of Community Services of the department.
(7) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2003.
SECTION 2. Section 47-7-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-7-53. * * * If the Parole Board is abolished, the Department of Corrections shall assume and exercise all the duties, powers and responsibilities of the State Parole Board. The commissioner * * * may assign to the appropriate officers and divisions any powers and duties deemed appropriate to carry out the duties and powers of the Parole Board. Wherever the terms "State Parole Board" or "Parole Board" appear in any state law, they shall mean the Department of Corrections.
SECTION 3. Section 47-5-1003, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-5-1003. (1) An intensive supervision program may be used as an alternative to incarceration for offenders who are low risk and nonviolent as selected by the department or court. Any offender convicted of a sex crime or a felony for the sale or manufacture of a controlled substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Law shall not be placed in the program.
(2) The court placing an offender in the intensive supervision program may, acting upon the advice and consent of the commissioner at the time of the initial sentencing only, and not later than one (1) year after the defendant has been delivered to the custody of the department, suspend the further execution of the sentence and place the defendant on intensive supervision, except when a death sentence or life imprisonment is the maximum penalty which may be imposed or if the defendant has been confined for the conviction of a felony on a previous occasion in any court or courts of the United States and of any state or territories thereof or has been convicted of a felony involving the use of a deadly weapon.
(3) To protect and to ensure the safety of the state's citizens, any offender who violates an order or condition of the intensive supervision program shall be arrested by the correctional field officer and placed in the actual custody of the Department of Corrections. Such offender is under the full and complete jurisdiction of the department and subject to removal from the program by the classification committee.
(4) From and after July 1, 2001, all persons who are within one (1) year of eligibility for parole or release may be considered by the Parole Board for house arrest under the electronic home detention program. Any offender who violates an order or condition of the program shall be required to serve the full term to which sentenced either under house arrest or while incarcerated, in the discretion of the Parole Board.
SECTION 4. The following shall be codified as Section 47-7-72, Mississippi Code of 1972:
47-7-72. (1) The Department of Corrections shall not accept any person convicted of three (3) or more violent felony offenses placed on probation or released on parole under the Uniform Act for Out-of-State Parolee Suspension.
(2) The Department of Corrections shall not consent to any person convicted of three (3) or more violent felony offenses being sent to reside in Mississippi under Section 47-7-71.
(3) The Department of Corrections shall immediately notify any state having an out-of-state parolee agreement with Mississippi of this condition and take immediate action to modify such agreements, or to renounce such agreement if a contracting state refuses to agree with the restrictions placed on such agreements with the Department of Corrections under this section.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2000.