2002 Regular Session
By: Representative Clarke, Thomas
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 47-5-142, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT AN OFFENDER MAY RECEIVE A SENTENCE REDUCTION FOR MODEL BEHAVIOR IN ADDITION TO REDUCTIONS FOR MERITORIOUS EARNED TIME; TO PROVIDE THAT OFFENDERS PARTICIPATING IN THE MODEL BEHAVIOR INCENTIVE SENTENCE REDUCTION PROGRAM MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A REDUCTION OF SENTENCE OR A REDUCTION IN THE LEVEL OF INCARCERATION, OR BOTH, SUBJECT TO THE DISCRETION OF THE COMMISSIONER; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 47-5-142, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-5-142. (1) In order to provide incentive for offenders to achieve positive and worthwhile accomplishments for their
personal benefit or the benefit of others, and in addition to any other administrative reductions of the length of an offender's sentence, any offender shall be eligible, subject to the provisions of this section, to receive meritorious earned time or model behavior incentive sentence reduction as distinguished from earned time for good conduct and performance.
(2) Subject to approval by the commissioner of the terms and conditions of the program or project, meritorious earned time may be awarded for the following: (a) successful completion of educational or instructional programs; (b) satisfactory participation in work projects; and (c) satisfactory participation in any special incentive program.
(3) Additionally, subject to approval by the commissioner of the terms and conditions of the program or project, there is established a model behavior incentive reduction program under which model behavior sentence reduction may be awarded for any of the following: (a) community service; (b) assisting in behavior modification of other offenders, such as steering fellow offenders away from drugs and violence; (c) participation of any kind involving exhibition of dedication toward improving community conditions and attitudes of their fellowman.
(4) The programs and activities through which meritorious earned time or model behavior incentive sentence reduction may be received shall be published in writing and posted in conspicuous places at all facilities of the department and such publication shall be made available to all offenders in the custody of the department.
(5) The commissioner shall make a determination of the number of days of reduction of sentence which may be awarded an offender as meritorious earned time or model behavior incentive sentence reduction for participation in approved programs or projects; the number of days shall be determined by the commissioner on the basis of each particular program or project. All offenders participating in the model behavior sentence reduction program may be eligible for a reduction of sentence or for a reduction in the level of incarceration, such as from jail to house arrest, or both, subject to the discretion of the commission. Except as otherwise provided in this section, in no event shall an offender be awarded in excess of ten (10) days reduction for each thirty (30) days of participation in such a program or project. Furthermore, an offender shall never be allowed to earn more than a total of one hundred eighty (180) days of meritorious earned time or model behavior incentive sentence reduction during the entire time he is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections. The commissioner may authorize the awarding of all or any part of meritorious earned time or model behavior incentive sentence reduction upon an offender's entry into the correctional system.
(6) No offender shall be awarded any meritorious earned time or model behavior incentive sentence reduction while assigned to the maximum security facilities for disciplinary purposes.
(7) All meritorious earned time or model behavior incentive sentence reduction shall be forfeited by the offender in the event of escape and/or aiding and abetting an escape.
(8) Any officer or employee of the department who shall willfully violate the provisions of this section and be convicted therefor shall be removed from office or employment.
(9) An offender may forfeit all or any part of his meritorious earned time allowance or model behavior incentive sentence reduction for just cause upon the written order of the commissioner or his designee. Any meritorious earned time allowance or model behavior incentive sentence reduction forfeited under this section shall not be restored nor shall it be re-earned by the offender.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.