2004 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Huggins
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 45-4-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT REGIONAL CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS COMPLETING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS TRAINING PROGRAM DO NOT HAVE TO BE RECERTIFIED BY THE BOARD ON JAIL OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 45-4-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-4-9. (1) (a) After January 1, 2000, no person shall be appointed or employed as a jail officer or a part-time jail officer unless that person has been certified as being qualified under subsection (3) of this section.
(b) No person who is required to be certified shall be appointed or employed as a jail officer by any sheriff or police department for a period to exceed two (2) years without being certified. The prohibition against the appointment or employment of a jail officer for a period not to exceed two (2) years may not be nullified by terminating the appointment or employment of such a person before the expiration of the time period and then rehiring the person for another period. Any person who, due to illness or other events beyond his control, as may be determined by the Board on Jail Officer Standards and Training, does not attend the required school or training as scheduled, may serve with full pay and benefits in such a capacity until he can attend the required school or training.
(c) No person shall serve as a jail officer in any full-, part-time, reserve or auxiliary capacity during a period when that person's certification has been suspended, cancelled or recalled pursuant to this chapter.
(2) Jail officers serving under permanent appointment on January 1, 2000, shall not be required to meet certification requirements of this section as a condition of continued employment; nor shall failure of any such jail officer to fulfill such requirements make that person ineligible for any promotional examination for which that person is otherwise eligible. If any jail officer certified under this chapter leaves his employment and does not become employed as a jail officer within two (2) years from the date of termination of his prior employment, he shall be required to comply with board policy as to rehiring standards in order to be employed as a jail officer.
(3) In addition to the other requirements of this section, the Board on Jail Officer Standards and Training, by rules and regulations consistent with other provisions of law, shall fix other qualifications for the employment of jail officers, including education, physical and mental standards, citizenship, good moral character, experience and such other matters as relate to the competence and reliability of persons to assume and discharge the responsibilities of jail officers, and the board shall prescribe the means for presenting evidence of fulfillment of these requirements. Additionally, the board shall fix qualifications for the appointment or employment of part-time jail officers to essentially the same standards and requirements as jail officers. The board shall develop and implement a part-time jail officer training program that meets the same performance objectives and has essentially the same or similar content as the programs approved by the board for full-time jail officers.
(4) (a) The Board on Jail Officer Standards and Training shall issue a certificate evidencing satisfaction of the requirements of subsections (1) and (3) of this section to any applicant who presents such evidence as may be required by its rules and regulations of satisfactory completion of a program or course of instruction in another jurisdiction equivalent in content and quality to that required by the board for approved jail officer education and training programs in this state.
(b) The Board on Jail Officer Standards and Training shall issue a certificate to any person who successfully completes the Mississippi Department of Corrections training program for correctional officers of regional jails.
(5) Professional certificates remain the property of the board, and the board reserves the right to either reprimand the holder of a certificate, suspend a certificate upon conditions imposed by the board, or cancel and recall any certificate when:
(a) The certificate was issued by administrative error;
(b) The certificate was obtained through misrepresentation or fraud;
(c) The holder has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;
(d) The holder has been convicted of a felony; or
(e) Other due cause as determined by the board.
(6) When the board believes there is a reasonable basis for either the reprimand, suspension, cancellation of, or recalling the certification of a jail officer, notice and opportunity for a hearing shall be provided in accordance with law prior to such reprimand, suspension or revocation.
(7) Any jail officer aggrieved by the final findings and order of the board may file an appeal with the chancery court of the county in which the person is employed. The appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days of the final order.
(8) Any jail officer whose certification has been cancelled may reapply for certification, but not sooner than two (2) years after the date on which the order canceling the certification becomes final.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.