MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2003 Regular Session

To: Corrections; Appropriations

By: Senator(s) Smith, Posey

Senate Bill 2743

AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION AND PAROLE; TO TRANSFER PROBATION AND PAROLE DUTIES, FUNCTIONS, PERSONNEL AND INVENTORY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS TO THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION AND PAROLE; TO AMEND SECTIONS 47-5-26, 47-7-9, 47-7-34, 47-7-41, 47-7-49, 99-15-127, 99-15-45 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. (1) The Mississippi Department of Probation and Parole is hereby established and full power is vested in the department to manage, control, supervise, enforce and direct any matters pertaining to probation and parole formally under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections shall transfer all powers, duties, employees, equipment, buildings, facilities, inventory and resources of the Division of Community Corrections related to probation and parole to the Department of Probation and Parole.

(2) The Executive Director of the Department of Probation and Parole shall have the authority to internally reorganize the Department of Probation and Parole with persons meeting established qualifications for comparable positions of duty and responsibility and to carry out the duties of the department. The organizational chart of the department shall be presented annually with the department's budget request for review by the Legislature.

SECTION 2. (1) The Department of Probation and Parole and the Department of Corrections shall comply with Sections 5-11-1 through 5-11-5 in the transfer of the probation and parole functions.

(2) (a) All personnel actions initiated as a result of the transfer of probation and parole officers shall be subject to the State Personnel Board rules, regulations and procedures.

(b) The transfer of personnel shall be commensurate with the number and classification of positions (PINS) allocated to the probation and parole function on July 1, 2003. The transfer shall also include direct support, clerical, data processing, and communications PINS and resources.

SECTION 3. The Mississippi Department of Probation and Parole shall be under the policy direction of the Governor. The department shall be headed by an executive director. The executive director shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

SECTION 4. 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 who 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, * * * counseling, community-based treatment, interstate compact administration and enforcement, prevention programs, halfway houses and group homes, and restitution centers, * * * and shall serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Division of Community Services. * * * 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 shall 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 and who shall be liaison between the department and the Department of Parole and Probation.

(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 5. 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 Department of Probation and Parole personnel have been assigned shall have the power to request of the department transfer or removal of the * * * personnel from their court.

(2) (a) Such 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 * * * 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 probation and parole 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 probation and parole personnel supervising offenders in the community (hereinafter field supervisor) shall not exceed the number of cases that may be adequately handled.

(3) * * * Probation and parole personnel shall be provided to perform investigation for the court as provided in this subsection. Probation and parole 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. Probation and parole personnel shall also prepare written victim impact statements at the request of the sentencing judge as provided in Section 99-19-157.

 * * *

SECTION 6. 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 Department of Probation and Parole * * *. 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 7. 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 Department of Probation and Parole, 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 8. 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 Department of Probation and Parole shall pay to the department the sum of Thirty Dollars ($30.00) per month by certified check or money order unless a hardship waiver is granted. A hardship waiver may be granted by the sentencing court or the Department of Probation and Parole. A hardship waiver may not be granted for a period of time exceeding ninety (90) days. The executive director, or his designee, shall deposit Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) of the payments received into a special fund in the State Treasury, which is hereby created, to be known as the Probation and Parole 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 and field supervision program. The Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) may be used for salaries and to purchase equipment, supplies and vehicles to be used by the Department of Probation and Parole in the performance of its duties. Expenditures for the purposes established in this section may be made from the fund upon requisition by the executive director, 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, 2004.

SECTION 9. Section 99-15-127, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

99-15-127. The Department of Probation and Parole is 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 Executive Director of the Department of Probation and Parole shall certify to the court that the department has sufficient field parole officers to supervise and oversee those individuals who may be placed in this program by the court.

SECTION 10. 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 Probation and Parole, 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 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 11. 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 Department of Probation and Parole:

"Circuit Court, County of ________________.

To the Mississippi Department of Probation and Parole:

You are hereby notified that at the ________ term, 2___, 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 ___________, 2___. ___________________ Clerk."

SECTION 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.