2003 Regular Session
By: Representative Malone
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 99-37-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE QUALIFICATIONS THAT OFFENDERS MUST MEET IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PLACEMENT IN MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS RESTITUTION CENTERS; TO AMEND SECTION 47-5-110, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 99-37-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-37-19. The boards of supervisors of the several counties and the governing authorities of municipalities are hereby authorized to cooperate with the Department of Corrections in the establishment of restitution centers. Such centers may house both probationers referred by the circuit courts as well as inmates transferred from other facilities of the Department of Corrections as provided in Section 47-5-110. In order to qualify for placement in a restitution center, an offender must: (a) be convicted of a nonviolent offense that constitutes a felony, (b) not be convicted of a sex crime and (c) not have drug, alcohol, emotional or physical problems so serious that the offender appears unlikely to meet obligations of the restitution program. Such centers shall be operated by the Department of Corrections. County or municipal property may be utilized with the approval of the board of supervisors or municipal governing authority for the construction, renovation and maintenance of facilities owned by the state or a local political subdivision. Such facility may be leased to the Department of Corrections for a period of time for use as a restitution center.
It is the intent of this section that county and local governments contribute only to the establishment, renovation and maintenance of the physical plant of a restitution center and that the Department of Corrections support the operation of, and have sole jurisdiction over and responsibility for offenders in, such restitution program.
This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2005.
SECTION 2. Section 47-5-110, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-5-110. (1) Commitment to any institution or facility within the jurisdiction of the department shall be to the department, not to a particular institution or facility. The commissioner shall assign a newly committed offender to an appropriate facility consistent with public safety; provided, however, that any offender who, in the opinion of the sentencing judge, requires confinement in a maximum security unit shall be assigned, upon initial commitment, to the Parchman facility. The commissioner may extend the place of confinement of eligible offenders as provided under subsection (2) of this section. He may transfer an offender from one institution to another, consistent with the commitment and in accordance with treatment, training and security needs. The commissioner shall have the authority to transfer inmates from the various correctional facilities of the department to restitution centers if such inmates meet the qualifications prescribed in Section 99-37-19. The commissioner shall prepare appropriate standards of eligibility for such transfers of offenders from one institution to another institution and transfers of offenders who meet the qualifications for placement in restitution centers. The commissioner shall have the authority to remove the offenders from restitution centers and to transfer them to other facilities of the department. The commissioner shall obtain the approval of the sentencing court before transferring an offender committed to the department to a restitution center. On the request of the chief executive officer of the affected unit of local government, the commissioner may transfer a person detained in a local facility to a state facility. The commissioner shall determine the cost of care for that person to be borne by the unit of local government. The commissioner may assign to a community work center, any offender who is convicted under the Mississippi Implied Consent Law and who is sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections, except that if a death or a serious maiming has occurred during the commission of the violation of the Mississippi Implied Consent Law, then the offender so convicted may not be assigned to a community work center.
(2) The department may establish by rule or policy and procedure a community pre-release program which shall be subject to the following requirements:
(a) The commissioner may extend the limits of confinement of offenders serving sentences for violent or nonviolent crimes who have six (6) months or less remaining before release on parole, conditional release or discharge to participate in the program. Parole violators may be allowed to participate in the program.
(b) Any offender who is referred to the program shall remain an offender of the department and shall be subject to rules and regulations of the department pertaining to offenders of the department until discharged or released on parole or conditional release by the State Parole Board.
(c) The department shall require the offender to participate in work or educational or vocational programs and other activities that may be necessary for the supervision and treatment of the offender.
(d) An offender assigned to the program shall be authorized to leave a community pre-release center only for the purpose and time necessary to participate in the program and activities authorized in paragraph (c) of this subsection.
(3) The commissioner shall have absolute immunity from liability for any injury resulting from a determination by the commissioner that an offender shall be allowed to participate in the community pre-release program.
(4) (a) The department may by rule or policy and procedure provide the regimented inmate discipline program and pre-release service for offenders at each of its major correctional facilities: Mississippi State Penitentiary, Central Mississippi Correctional Institution and South Mississippi Correctional Institution.
(b) The commissioner may establish regimented inmate discipline and pre-release programs at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution. Offenders assigned to this facility may receive the services provided by the regimented inmate discipline program. The pre-release program may be located on the grounds of this facility or another facility designated by the commissioner.
(5) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2005.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.