2002 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Huggins
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-117, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY SHALL REPRESENT THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES IN CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT CASES IN YOUTH COURT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-117, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-117. (1) The youth court prosecutor shall represent the petitioner in all proceedings in the youth court. The youth court prosecutor shall represent the Mississippi Department of Human Services in all child abuse and neglect proceedings in the youth court.
(2) The county prosecuting attorney shall serve as the youth court prosecutor; however, if funds are available pursuant to Section 43-21-123, the court may designate, as provided in subsection (3) of this section, a prosecutor or prosecutors in lieu of or in addition to the county prosecuting attorney. Where there is a municipal youth court division, the city prosecutor shall serve as youth court prosecutor; provided that the district attorney may participate in transfer proceedings.
(3) The judge may designate as provided in Section 43-21-123 some suitable attorney or attorneys to serve as youth court prosecutor or prosecutors in lieu of or in conjunction with the youth court prosecutor provided in subsection (2) of this section. The designated youth court prosecutor or prosecutors shall be paid a fee or salary fixed on order of the judge as provided in Section 43-21-123 and shall be paid by the county out of any available funds budgeted for the youth court by the board of supervisors, unless the designated youth court prosecutor or prosecutors serves in a municipal youth court division, in which case he shall be paid a fee or salary fixed on order of the judge from the funds available to the municipality.
(4) All youth court prosecutors and county prosecuting attorneys who serve as youth court prosecutors shall be required to receive juvenile justice training approved by the Mississippi Attorney General's office and regular annual continuing education in the field of juvenile justice. The Mississippi Attorney General's office shall determine the amount of juvenile justice training and annual continuing education which shall be satisfactory to fulfill the requirements of this subsection. The Administrative Office of Courts shall maintain a roll of youth court prosecutors, shall enforce the provisions of this subsection and shall maintain records on all such youth court prosecutors regarding such training. Should a youth court prosecutor miss two (2) consecutive training sessions sponsored by the Mississippi Attorney General's office as required by this subsection or fail to attend one (1) such training session within six (6) months of their designation as youth court prosecutor, the youth court prosecutor shall be disqualified to serve and be immediately removed from the office of youth court prosecutor and another youth court prosecutor shall be designated.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.