2005 Regular Session
To: Juvenile Justice
By: Representative Scott
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-627, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT A YOUTH OFFENDER OF A YOUTH COURT WORK PROGRAM MUST TAKE A DRUG TEST AND SHALL PAY THE ACTUAL COST OF THE TEST; TO REQUIRE YOUTH WHO TEST POSITIVE FOR DRUGS TO BE REFERRED TO A DRUG REHABILITATION TREATMENT PROGRAM AND COUNSELING; TO AUTHORIZE THE YOUTH COURT TO WORK WITH CERTAIN ENTITIES TO PROVIDE COMMUNITY SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH WHO HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO PERFORM COMMUNITY SERVICE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-627, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-627. (1) Each youth court is authorized to establish a youth court work program as an alternative disposition for nonviolent offenders. The youth court work program shall be used only for first time nonviolent youth offenders. Offenders participating in the program must take a drug test, and the parent, guardian or custodian shall pay the actual cost of the test, unless the court specifically finds that the parent, guardian or custodian is unable to pay. If a youth offender tests positive for drugs, he or she shall be referred to a drug rehabilitation treatment program and counseling.
(2) The youth court may work with local governmental entities, local nonprofit and faith based organizations to provide community service opportunities for youth in the program who may have been ordered to perform community service. The court shall solicit and approve the assistance of volunteers from the area served by the youth court, including business and community volunteers. The court may require a nonviolent youth offender to work for a minimum of six (6) months with a court approved volunteer as part or all of a sentence imposed by the court. The volunteers shall provide a working environment as mentors to provide guidance and support and to teach the youth offender job skills. Each youth offender and volunteer shall be under the supervision of the court and shall make regular reports to the court as required by order of the court. If a youth offender violates the terms and conditions imposed by the court while participating in the youth court work program, the court is authorized to remove the offender from the program and impose any other disposition authorized by law.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.