2004 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Moore, Akins, Aldridge, Barnett, Beckett, Bentz, Chism, Davis, Ellington, Fillingane, Formby, Gunn, Hamilton (6th), Janus, Lott, Martinson, Mayhall, Mims, Nicholson, Reeves, Simpson, Snowden, Staples, Turner, Wells-Smith, Zuber
AN ACT TO CREATE SECTION 45-33-32, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE SEX OFFENDERS WHO VOLUNTEER WITH VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS WHO HAVE CONTACT WITH MINORS TO DISCLOSE SUCH SEX OFFENDER INFORMATION AND OTHER INFORMATION TO THE ORGANIZATION; TO AMEND SECTIONS 45-33-33, 45-33-35 AND 45-33-41, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 45-33-32, Mississippi Code of 1972:
45-33-32. (1) A person convicted of a sex offense who volunteers for an organization in which volunteers have direct, private and unsupervised contact with minors shall notify the organization of the person's conviction at the time of volunteering. Such notification must be in writing to the organization. Any organization which accepts volunteers must notify volunteers of this disclosure requirement upon application of the volunteer to serve or prior to acceptance of any of the volunteer's service, whichever occurs first.
(2) If the organization, after notification by the offender as provided in subsection (1), accepts the offender as a volunteer, the organization must notify the parents or guardians of any minors involved in the organization of the offender's criminal record.
(3) This act applies to all registered sex offenders regardless of the date of conviction.
(4) Any person previously registered as a sex offender and who has a continuing obligation to be registered as a sex offender shall be notified of the person's duty under this section with the first reregistration form to be sent to the person after July 1, 2004.
(5) If the registered sex offender is currently volunteering for such an organization, the sex offender must resign or notify the organization immediately upon receipt of notice or be subject to the penalties of this chapter.
SECTION 2. Section 45-33-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-33-33. (1) The failure of an offender to provide any registration or other information, including, but not limited to, initial registration, reregistration or change of address information, or required notification to a volunteer organization, as required by this chapter, is a violation of the law. Additionally, forgery of information or submission of information under false pretenses is also a violation of the law.
(2) Unless otherwise specified, a violation of this chapter shall be considered a felony and shall be punishable by a fine not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not more than five (5) years, or both fine and imprisonment.
(3) Whenever it appears that an offender has failed to comply with the duty to register or reregister, the department shall promptly notify the sheriff of the county of the last known address of the offender. Upon notification, the sheriff shall attempt to locate the offender at his last known address.
(a) If the sheriff locates the offender, he shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. The sheriff shall then notify the department with the current information regarding the offender.
(b) If the sheriff is unable to locate the offender, the sheriff shall promptly notify the department and initiate a criminal prosecution against the offender for the failure to register or reregister. The sheriff shall make the appropriate transactions into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's wanted-person database.
(4) A first violation of this chapter may result in the arrest of the offender. Upon any second or subsequent violation of this chapter, the offender shall be arrested for such violation.
(5) Any prosecution for a violation of this section shall be brought by a prosecutor in the county of such violation.
SECTION 3. Section 45-33-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-33-35. (1) The Mississippi Department of Public Safety shall maintain a central registry of sex offender information as defined in Section 45-33-25 and shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out this section. The responsible agencies shall provide the information required in Section 45-33-25 on a form developed by the department to ensure accurate information is maintained.
(2) Upon conviction, adjudication or acquittal by reason of insanity of any sex offender, if the sex offender is not immediately confined or not sentenced to a term of imprisonment, the clerk of the court which convicted and sentenced the sex offender shall inform the person of the duty to register and shall perform the registration duties as described in Section 45-33-23 and forward the information to the department.
(3) Upon release from prison, placement on parole or supervised release, the Department of Corrections shall inform the person of the duty to register and shall perform the registration duties as described in Section 45-33-23 and forward the information to the Department of Public Safety.
(4) Upon release from confinement in a mental institution following an acquittal by reason of insanity, the director of the facility shall inform the offender of the duty to register and shall notify the Department of Public Safety of the offender's release.
(5) Upon release from a youthful offender facility, the director of the facility shall inform the person of the duty to register and shall perform the registration duties as described in Section 45-33-23 and forward the information to the Department of Public Safety.
(6) In addition to performing the registration duties, the responsible agency shall:
(a) Inform the person having a duty to register that:
(i) The person shall report in writing any change of address to the department ten (10) days before changing address.
(ii) Any change of address to another state shall be reported to the department in writing no less than ten (10) days before the change of address. The offender shall comply with any registration requirement in the new state.
(iii) The person must register in any state where the person is employed, carries on a vocation, is stationed in the military or is a student.
(iv) All address verifications must be returned to the department within the required time period.
(v) Any change in status of a registrant's enrollment, employment or vocation at any institution of higher learning shall be reported to the department in writing within ten (10) days of the change.
(vi) If the person has been convicted of a sex offense, the person shall notify any organization for which the person volunteers in which volunteers have direct, private or unsupervised contact with minors that the person has been convicted of a sex offense as provided in Section 45-33-32(1).
(b) Require the person to read and sign a form stating that the duty of the person to register under this chapter has been explained.
(c) Obtain or facilitate the obtaining of a biological sample from every registrant as required by this chapter if such biological sample has not already been provided to the Mississippi Crime Lab.
SECTION 4. Section 45-33-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-33-41. (1) The Department of Corrections or any person having charge of a county or municipal jail or any juvenile detention facility shall provide written notification to an inmate or offender in the custody of the jail or other facility due to a conviction of or adjudication for a sex offense of the registration and notification requirements of Sections 45-33-25, 45-33-31 and 45-33-32 at the time of the inmate's or offender's confinement and release from confinement, and shall receive a signed acknowledgment of receipt on both occasions.
(2) At least ten (10) days prior to the inmate's release from confinement, the Department of Corrections shall notify the victim of the offense or a designee of the immediate family of the victim regarding the date when the offender's release shall occur, provided a current address of the victim or designated family member has been furnished in writing to the Director of Records for such purpose.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.