2002 Regular Session
By: Representative Malone
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 47-5-103 AND 47-5-905, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO GRANT TO THE SENTENCING JUDGE, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY AND SHERIFF THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS INPUT ON THE CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENDERS COMMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 47-5-405 AND 47-5-453, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH AUTHORIZE THE SHERIFF AND BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, IN COUNTIES HAVING A JOINT STATE-COUNTY WORK PROGRAM, TO ADOPT REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE PROGRAM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 47-5-103, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-5-103. (1) The classification hearing officer shall be responsible for assigning a classification to each offender within forty (40) days after the offender's commitment to the custody of the department. The classification shall determine the offender's work duties, living quarters, educational, vocational or other rehabilitation programs, and privileges to be accorded the offender while in custody of the department. The classification hearing officer, in assigning classifications, shall consider: the offender's age, offense and surrounding circumstances; the complete record of the offender's criminal history, including records of law enforcement agencies or of a youth court regarding that offender's juvenile criminal history; the offender's family background, education, practical or employment experience, interests and abilities, as evidenced by mental and psychological examination and knowledge obtained by the classification hearing officer in personal interview with the offender; and the written recommendation, if any, regarding the classification of the offender submitted to the department by the sentencing judge, prosecuting attorney or sheriff of any county in which the offender might be housed. The classification hearing officer shall use the above criteria to assign each offender a classification which will serve and enhance the best interests and general welfare of the offender. The director or assistant director of offender services shall approve or disapprove each classification. The classification hearing officer shall provide the State Parole Board with a copy of the classification assigned to each offender in the custody of the department who is eligible for parole.
(2) The classification board, consisting of the commissioner, or his designee, deputy commissioner of institutions and the director of offender services may change an action of the classification or disciplinary hearing officer if the board makes a determination that the action of the hearing officer was not supported by sufficient factual information. The commissioner, in emergency situations, may suspend the classification of an offender or offenders for a period of not exceeding fifteen (15) days to relieve the emergency situation. The classification of each offender may be reviewed by a classification hearing officer at least once each year. In no case shall an offender serve as a servant in the home of any employee other than authorized by the commissioner.
(3) The classification board shall establish substantive and procedural rules and regulations governing the assignment and alteration of inmate classifications, and shall make such rules and regulations available to any offender upon request.
SECTION 2. Section 47-5-905, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-5-905. (1) All persons placed under the custody of the Department of Corrections shall be processed at a reception and diagnostic center of the Department of Corrections and then be assigned to an appropriate correctional facility for a complete and thorough classification, not to exceed ninety (90) days, unless the department determines that a person can be properly processed and classified at the county jail in accordance with the department's classification plan.
(2) The Department of Corrections shall develop a plan for the processing and classification of inmates in county jails, which plan must include consideration of the recommendation, if any, regarding the classification of an inmate by the sentencing judge, prosecuting attorney or sheriff of the county in which the inmate is housed.
SECTION 3. Section 47-5-405, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
47-5-405. Each county electing to establish a work program under Sections 47-5-401 through 47-5-421 is authorized through its sheriff to adopt regulations and policies for joint state-county work programs, including extending the limits of the place of confinement of an eligible inmate as to whom there is reasonable cause to believe he will know his trust.
Any rules, regulations or policies promulgated by the sheriff shall be filed with the board of supervisors, and shall be left on file for a minimum of thirty (30) days before any such rules, regulations or policies can be implemented or utilized for any inmate pursuant to the provisions of Sections 47-5-401 through 47-5-421. Provided further, such rules as they pertain to state inmates shall also be submitted to the Department of Corrections for approval which shall be granted or rejected within thirty (30) days of submission. If said rules are rejected the reasons therefor shall be stated in writing.
SECTION 4. Section 47-5-453, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
47-5-453. Each county board of supervisors electing to establish a work program under Sections 47-5-451 through 47-5-469 shall adopt regulations and policies as authorized by the Department of Corrections for joint state-county work programs, including extending the limits of the place of confinement of an eligible inmate as to whom there is reasonable cause to believe he will know his trust. Extending the limits of the place of confinement may include confinement at the residence of the subject inmate wherein the primary maintenance and care of the inmate shall take place, subject to approval by the department and county.
Violations by inmates participating in such programs of any such rules, regulations or policies shall result in the ineligibility of the inmates to participate in such programs, and shall result in the inmate's immediate incarceration.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.