MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2001 Regular Session

To: Penitentiary

By: Representative Malone, Coleman (29th)

House Bill 1465

(As Passed the House)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 47-5-26, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO RENAME THE DIVISION OF COMMUNITY SERVICES AND THE POSITION OF THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF COMMUNITY SERVICES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 47-5-8, 47-5-158, 47-7-5, 47-7-9, 47-7-34, 47-7-41, 47-7-49, 99-15-127, 99-19-45 AND 99-19-48, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 47-5-26, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

47-5-26. (1) The commissioner shall employ the following personnel:

(a) A Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Finance who shall supervise and implement all fiscal policies and programs within the department, supervise and implement all hiring and personnel matters within the department, supervise the department's personnel director, supervise and implement all purchasing within the department and supervise and implement all data processing activities within the department, and shall serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Division of Administration and Finance. He shall possess either:

(i) A master's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in public or business administration, accounting, economics or a directly related field, and four (4) years of experience in work related to the above-described duties, one (1) year of which must have included line or functional supervision; or

(ii) A bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in public or business administration, accounting, economics or a directly related field, and six (6) years of experience in work related to the above-described duties, one (1) year of which must have included line or functional supervision. Certification by the State of Mississippi as a certified public accountant may be substituted for one (1) year of the required experience.

(b) A Deputy Commissioner for Community Corrections who shall initiate and administer programs including but not limited to supervision of probationers, parolees and suspensioners, counseling, community-based treatment, interstate compact administration and enforcement, prevention programs, halfway houses and group homes, restitution centers, presentence investigations, and work and educational releases, and to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Division of Community Corrections. The Deputy Commissioner for Community Corrections is charged with full and complete cooperation with the State Parole Board and shall make monthly reports to the Chairman of the Parole Board in the form and type required by the chairman, in his discretion, for the proper performance of the probation and parole functions. After a plea or verdict of guilty to a felony is entered against a person and before he is sentenced, the Deputy Commissioner for Community Corrections shall procure from any available source and shall file in the presentence records any information regarding any criminal history of the person such as fingerprints, dates of arrests, complaints, civil and criminal charges, investigative reports of arresting and prosecuting agencies, reports of the National Crime Information Center, the nature and character of each offense, noting all particular circumstances thereof and any similar data about the person. The Deputy Commissioner for Community Corrections shall keep an accurate and complete duplicate record of this file and shall furnish the duplicate to the department. This file shall be placed in and shall constitute a part of the inmate's master file. The Deputy Commissioner for Community Corrections shall furnish this file to the State Parole Board when the file is needed in the course of its official duties. He shall possess either (i) a master's degree in counseling, corrections psychology, guidance, social work, criminal justice or some related field and at least four (4) years' full-time experience in such field, including at least one (1) year of supervisory experience; or (ii) a bachelor's degree in a field described in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph and at least six (6) years' full-time work in corrections, one (1) year of which shall have been at the supervisory level.

(c) A Deputy Commissioner for Institutions who shall administer institutions, reception and diagnostic centers, prerelease centers and other facilities and programs provided therein, and to serve as the chief executive officer of the division of institutions. He shall possess either (i) a master's degree in counseling, criminal justice, psychology, guidance, social work, business or some related field, and at least four (4) years' full-time experience in corrections, including at least one (1) year of correctional management experience; or (ii) a bachelor's degree in a field described in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph and at least six (6) years' full-time work in corrections, four (4) years of which shall have been at the correctional management level.

(2) The commissioner shall employ an administrative assistant for parole matters who shall be an employee of the department assigned to the State Parole Board and who shall work under the guidance and supervision of the board.

(3) The administrative assistant for parole matters shall receive an annual salary to be established by the Legislature. The salaries of department employees not established by the Legislature shall receive an annual salary established by the State Personnel Board.

(4) The commissioner shall employ a superintendent for the Parchman facility, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility and South Mississippi Correctional Institution of the Department of Corrections. The superintendent of the Mississippi State Penitentiary shall reside on the grounds of the Parchman facility. Each superintendent shall appoint an officer in charge when he is absent.

Each superintendent shall develop and implement a plan for the prevention and control of an inmate riot and shall file a report with the Chairman of the Senate Corrections Committee and the Chairman of the House Penitentiary Committee on the first day of each regular session of the Legislature regarding the status of the plan.

In order that the grievances and complaints of inmates, employees and visitors at each facility may be heard in a timely and orderly manner, each superintendent shall appoint or designate an employee at the facility to hear grievances and complaints and to report grievances and complaints to the superintendent. Each superintendent shall institute procedures as are necessary to provide confidentiality to those who file grievances and complaints.

SECTION 2. Section 47-5-158, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

47-5-158. (1) The department is authorized to maintain a bank account which shall be designated as the Inmate Welfare Fund. All monies now held in a similar fund for the benefit and welfare of inmates shall be deposited into the Inmate Welfare Fund. This fund shall be used for the benefit and welfare of inmates in the custody of the department.

(2) There shall be deposited into the Inmate Welfare Fund interest previously earned on inmate deposits, all net profits from the operation of inmate canteens, the annual prison rodeo, performances of the Penitentiary band, interest earned on the Inmate Welfare Fund and other revenues designated by the commissioner. All money shall be deposited into the Inmate Welfare Fund as provided in Section 7-9-21, Mississippi Code of 1972.

(3) All inmate telephone call commissions shall be paid to the department. Monies in the fund may be expended by the Department of Corrections, upon requisition by the commissioner or his designee, only for the purposes established in this subsection.

(a) Beginning July 1, 1995, twenty-five percent (25%) of the inmate telephone call commissions shall be used to purchase and maintain telecommunication equipment to be used by the department.

(b) Before June 30, 1996, the commissioner shall transfer to the State Department of Education a percentage of the funds generated by the inmate telephone call commissions in an amount as specified in this paragraph. The amount of the transfer shall be a sum sufficient to comply with the provisions of Section 11, Chapter 143, Laws of 1995, which set forth the performance target for the Writing to Read Lab Matching Grant Program in the placement of lab sites and the number of students served.

(c) Before June 30, 1996, the Department of Corrections may expend not more than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) from the Inmate Welfare Fund for each prerelease center established by the department; however, the maximum amount expended by the department for all prerelease centers shall not exceed Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00).

(d) Beginning July 1, 1996, fifty percent (50%) of the inmate telephone call commissions shall be deposited into the Prison Agriculture Enterprise Fund. The Mississippi Department of Corrections may use these funds to supplement the Prison Agricultural Enterprise Fund created in Section 47-5-66. The remaining twenty-five percent (25%) of the inmate telephone call commissions shall be deposited into the Inmate Welfare Fund.

(4) The commissioner may invest in the manner authorized by law any money in the Inmate Welfare Fund that is not necessary for immediate use, and the interest earned shall be deposited in the Inmate Welfare Fund.

(5) The Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Finance shall be the custodian of the Inmate Welfare Fund. He shall establish and implement internal accounting controls that comply with generally accepted accounting principles. The Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Finance shall prepare and issue quarterly consolidated and individual facility financial statements to the prison auditor of the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review. The Deputy Commissioner shall prepare an annual report which shall include a summary of expenditures from the fund by major categories and by individual facility. This annual report shall be sent to the prison auditor, the Legislative Budget Office, the Chairman of the Corrections Committee of the Senate, and the Chairman of the Penitentiary Committee of the House of Representatives.

(6) A portion of the Inmate Welfare Fund shall be deposited in the Discharged Offenders Revolving Fund, as created under Section 47-5-155, in amounts necessary to provide a balance not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) in the Discharged Offenders Revolving Fund, and shall be used to supplement those amounts paid to discharged, paroled or pardoned offenders from the department. The superintendent of the Parchman facility shall establish equitable criteria for the making of supplemental payments which shall not exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for any offender. The supplemental payments shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner. The State Treasurer shall not be required to replenish the Discharged Offenders Revolving Fund for the supplemental payments made to discharged, paroled or pardoned offenders.

(7) The Inmate Welfare Fund Committee is hereby created and shall be composed of five (5) members: the Deputy Commissioner for Community Corrections, the Superintendent of the Parchman facility, the Superintendent of the Rankin County facility, the Superintendent of the Greene County facility, and one (1) member to be appointed by the Commissioner of Corrections. The member appointed by the commissioner shall be the chairman of the committee. The committee shall administer and supervise the operations and expenditures from the Inmate Welfare Fund and shall maintain an official minute book upon which shall be spread its authorization and approval for all such expenditures. The committee may promulgate regulations governing the use and expenditures of the fund.

(8) The Department of Audit shall conduct an annual comprehensive audit of the Inmate Welfare Fund.

SECTION 3. 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. The Governor shall appoint the members with the advice and consent of the Senate. All terms shall be at the will and pleasure of the Governor. Any vacancy shall be filled by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Governor shall appoint a chairman of the board.

(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.

(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 the board.

(6) The board shall have no authority or responsibility for supervision of offenders granted a release for any reason, including, but not limited to, 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 Corrections of the department.

(7) The State Parole Board, immediately after the effective date of this act, shall review all cases where an offender was denied parole and any eligibility for reconsideration for parole for at least one (1) year after denial.

(8) The State Parole Board shall review and investigate all cases where offenders have been diagnosed with a serious illness. If the Medical Director of the Department of Corrections certifies to the State Parole Board that an offender is suffering from a terminal illness, the State Parole Board shall parole the offender with the approval and consent of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and the medical director.

(9) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2002.

SECTION 4. Section 47-7-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

47-7-9. (1) The circuit judges and county judges in the districts to which Division of Community Corrections personnel have been assigned shall have the power to request of the department transfer or removal of the division personnel from their court.

(2) (a) Division personnel shall investigate all cases referred to them for investigation by the board, the division or by any court in which they are authorized to serve. They shall furnish to each person released under their supervision a written statement of the conditions of probation, parole, earned-release supervision, post-release supervision or suspension and shall instruct him regarding the same. They shall keep informed concerning the conduct and conditions of persons under their supervision and use all suitable methods to aid and encourage them and to bring about improvements in their conduct and condition. They shall keep detailed records of their work and shall make such reports in writing as the court or the board may require.

(b) The division personnel duly assigned to court districts are hereby vested with all the powers of police officers or sheriffs to make arrests or perform any other duties required of policemen or sheriffs which may be incident to the division personnel responsibilities. All probation and parole officers hired on or after July 1, 1994, will be placed in the Law Enforcement Officers' Training Program and will be required to meet the standards outlined by that program.

(c) It is the intention of the Legislature that insofar as practicable the case load of each division personnel supervising offenders in the community (hereinafter field supervisor) shall not exceed the number of cases that may be adequately handled.

(3) (a) Division personnel shall be provided to perform investigation for the court as provided in this subsection. Division personnel shall conduct presentence investigations on all persons convicted of a felony in any circuit court of the state, prior to sentencing and at the request of the circuit court judge of the court of conviction. The presentence evaluation report shall consist of a complete record of the offender's criminal history, educational level, employment history, psychological condition and such other information as the department or judge may deem necessary. Division personnel shall also prepare written victim impact statements at the request of the sentencing judge as provided in Section 99-19-157.

(b) In order that offenders in the custody of the department on July 1, 1976, may benefit from the kind of evaluations authorized in this section, an evaluation report to consist of the information required hereinabove, supplemented by an examination of an offender's record while in custody, shall be compiled by the division upon all offenders in the custody of the department on July 1, 1976. After a study of such reports by the State Parole Board those cases which the board believes would merit some type of executive clemency shall be submitted by the board to the Governor with its recommendation for the appropriate executive action.

(c) The department is authorized to accept gifts, grants and subsidies to conduct this activity.

SECTION 5. Section 47-7-34, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

47-7-34. (1) When a court imposes a sentence upon a conviction for any felony committed after June 30, 1995, the court, in addition to any other punishment imposed if the other punishment includes a term of incarceration in a state or local correctional facility, may impose a term of post-release supervision. However, the total number of years of incarceration plus the total number of years of post-release supervision shall not exceed the maximum sentence authorized to be imposed by law for the felony committed. The defendant shall be placed under post-release supervision upon release from the term of incarceration. The period of supervision shall be established by the court.

(2) The period of post-release supervision shall be conducted in the same manner as a like period of supervised probation, including a requirement that the defendant shall abide by any terms and conditions as the court may establish. Failure to successfully abide by the terms and conditions shall be grounds to terminate the period of post-release supervision and to recommit the defendant to the correctional facility from which he was previously released. Procedures for termination and recommitment shall be conducted in the same manner as procedures for the revocation of probation and imposition of a suspended sentence.

(3) Post-release supervision programs shall be operated through the probation and parole unit of the Division of Community Corrections of the department. The maximum amount of time that the Mississippi Department of Corrections may supervise an offender on the post-release supervision program is five (5) years.

SECTION 6. Section 47-7-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

47-7-41. When a probationer shall be discharged from probation by the court of original jurisdiction, the field supervisor, upon receiving a written request from the probationer, shall forward a written report of the record of the probationer to the Division of Community Corrections of the department, which shall present a copy of this report to the Governor. The Governor may, in his discretion, at any time thereafter by appropriate executive order restore any civil rights lost by the probationer by virtue of his conviction or plea of guilty in the court of original jurisdiction.

SECTION 7. Section 47-7-49, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

47-7-49. (1) Any offender on probation, parole, earned-release supervision, post-release supervision, earned probation or any other offender under the field supervision of the Community Corrections Division of the department shall pay to the department the sum of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) per month by certified check or money order unless a hardship waiver is granted by the sentencing court. The commissioner or his designee shall deposit Twenty Dollars ($20.00) of the payments received into a special fund in the State Treasury, which is hereby created, to be known as the Community Service Revolving Fund. Expenditures from this fund shall be made for: (a) the establishment of restitution and satellite centers; and (b) the establishment, administration and operation of the department's Drug Identification Program and the intensive supervision program. Ten Dollars ($10.00) of the Twenty Dollars ($20.00) may be used for salaries and to purchase equipment, supplies and vehicles to be used by the Community Corrections Division in the performance of its duties. Expenditures for the purposes established in this section may be made from the fund upon requisition by the commissioner or his designee.

Of the remaining amount, Three Dollars ($3.00) of the payments shall be deposited in the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund created in Section 99-41-29, Two Dollars ($2.00) shall be deposited into the Training Revolving Fund created pursuant to Section 47-7-51. When a person is convicted of a felony in this state, in addition to any other sentence it may impose, the court may, in its discretion, order the offender to pay a state assessment not to exceed the greater of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or the maximum fine that may be imposed for the offense, into the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund created pursuant to Section 99-41-29.

Any federal funds made available to the department for training or for training facilities, equipment or services shall be deposited in the Correctional Training Revolving Fund created in Section 47-7-51. The funds deposited in this account shall be used to support an expansion of the department's training program to include the renovation of facilities for training purposes, purchase of equipment and contracting of training services with community colleges in the state.

No offender shall be required to make this payment for a period of time longer than ten (10) years.

(2) The offender may be imprisoned until the payments are made if the offender is financially able to make the payments and the court in the county where the offender resides so finds, subject to the limitations hereinafter set out. The offender shall not be imprisoned if the offender is financially unable to make the payments and so states to the court in writing, under oath, and the court so finds.

(3) This section shall stand repealed from and after June 30, 2001.

SECTION 8. Section 99-15-127, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

99-15-127. The Department of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections, is hereby directed to support Sections 99-15-101 through 99-15-127 to the extent that field support personnel are available in circuit court districts, and the Commissioner of Corrections shall certify to the court that the Division of Community Corrections has sufficient field parole officers to supervise and oversee those individuals who may be placed in this program by the court.

SECTION 9. Section 99-19-45, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

99-19-45. The clerks of the circuit court of the counties in the State of Mississippi shall furnish the Mississippi Department of Corrections, within five (5) days after adjournment of court, a commitment paper showing the name of the person convicted, the crime, term of sentence, date of sentence, sex, race, and a brief history of the crime committed.

The clerks shall also furnish the Department of Corrections, within five (5) days after adjournment of such court, a certified copy of the probation order of an individual who is placed on probation under the supervision of the Division of Community Corrections of the department. Such order shall provide the name of the person placed on probation, the crime, term of sentence, date of sentence, period of probation, sex, race, and a brief history of the crime committed.

As compensation for such services they shall receive the sum of Fifty Cents (50) for each transcript, and the sum shall be paid out of the treasury of the county, with the approval of the board of supervisors, on the filing of a bill for such service.

SECTION 10. Section 99-19-48, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

99-19-48. The following form, to be furnished by the county, shall be used in transmitting the required data for any individual placed on probation under the supervision of the Division of Community Corrections of the Department of Corrections:

"Circuit Court, County of ________________.

To the Mississippi Department of Corrections:

You are hereby notified that at the ________________ term, 20________, of the circuit court, Judge ________________ presiding, the following named person was tried, convicted and sentenced to a term in the State Penitentiary. The sentence was suspended and the person was placed on probation:

Name __________________________ Alias __________________________

Date of sentence ______________ Crime __________________________

Term of sentence ______________ Sex ____________________________

Race __________________________ Appealed _______________________

Remarks: Give brief summary of crime committed. _________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

Dated ___________, 20_____ __________________________ Clerk."

SECTION 11. Section 47-5-8, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

47-5-8. (1) There is hereby created the Mississippi Department of Corrections which shall be under the policy direction of the Governor. The chief administrative officer of the department shall be the Commissioner of Corrections.

(2) (a) There shall be a Division of Administration and Finance within the department which shall have as its chief administrative officer a Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Finance who shall be appointed by the commissioner, and shall be directly responsible to the commissioner.

(b) There shall be a Division of Community Corrections within the department which shall have as its chief administrative officer a Deputy Commissioner for Community Corrections who shall be appointed by the commissioner, and shall be directly responsible to the commissioner. The Probation and Parole Board shall continue to exercise the authority as provided by law, but after July 1, 1976, the Division of Community Corrections shall serve as the administrative agency for the Probation and Parole Board.

(3) The department shall succeed to the exclusive control of all records, books, papers, equipment and supplies, and all lands, buildings and other real and personal property now or hereafter belonging to or assigned to the use and benefit or under the control of the Mississippi State Penitentiary and the Mississippi Probation and Parole Board, except the records of parole process and revocation and legal matters related thereto, and shall have the exercise and control of the use, distribution and disbursement of all funds, appropriations and taxes now or hereafter in possession, levied, collected or received or appropriated for the use, benefit, support and maintenance of these two (2) agencies except as otherwise provided by law, and the department shall have general supervision of all the affairs of the two (2) agencies herein named except as otherwise provided by law, and the care and conduct of all buildings and grounds, business methods and arrangements of accounts and records, the organization of the administrative plans of each institution, and all other matters incident to the proper functioning of the two (2) agencies.

(4) The commissioner may lease the lands for oil, gas, mineral exploration and other purposes, and contract with other state agencies for the proper management of lands under such leases or for the provision of other services, and the proceeds thereof shall be paid into the General Fund of the state.

SECTION 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2001.