2006 Regular Session
By: Representative Whittington, Brown, Buck, Calhoun, Clarke, Fredericks, Frierson, Gadd, Guice, Hines, Holloway, Lane, Mayo, Moak, Norquist, Peranich, Reynolds, Thomas, Turner, Zuber, Upshaw, Baker (74th), Smith (59th), Moore, Fleming
AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS TO ESTABLISH A STATEWIDE AUTOMATED VICTIM INFORMATION AND NOTIFICATION SYSTEM TO INFORM CRIME VICTIMS REGARDING THE STATUS OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS; TO SPECIFY THE DATA TO BE STORED AND PROVIDED BY THE SYSTEM; TO REQUIRE COOPERATION FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The Department of Corrections shall establish a statewide automated victim information and notification (SAVIN) system that will do the following:
(a) Automatically notify a registered victim via their choice of telephone, letter, or email when any of the following events affect an offender housed in the Department of Corrections or any county jail in the state:
(i) Is transferred or assigned to another facility;
(ii) Is transferred to the custody of another agency outside the state;
(iii) Is given a different security classification;
(iv) Is released on temporary leave or otherwise;
(v) Is discharged;
(vi) Has escaped; or
(vii) Has been served with a protective order that was requested by the victim.
(b) Automatically notify a registered victim via their choice of telephone, letter, or email, when an offender has:
(i) An upcoming court event where the victim is entitled to be present;
(ii) An upcoming parole or pardon hearing;
(iii) A change in status of their parole or probation status including:
1. A change in their supervision status; or
2. A change in their address.
(c) Automatically notify a registered victim via their choice of telephone, letter, or email when a sex offender has:
(i) Updated his profile information with the state sex offender registry;
(ii) Become noncompliant with the state sex offender registry.
(d) Permit a crime victim to receive the most recent status report for an offender in the Department of Corrections, county jail, or sex offender registry by calling the SAVIN system on a toll free telephone number as well as by accessing the SAVIN system via a public web site.
(e) All victims calling the SAVIN program will be given the option to have live operator assistance to use the program on a 24 hour, 365 day per year basis.
(f) Permit a crime victim to register or update the victim's registration information for the SAVIN system by calling a toll free telephone number or accessing a public web site.
SECTION 2. Participation in the SAVIN program and making offender and case data available on a timely basis to the SAVIN program will satisfy the Department of Corrections', sheriff's, and prosecuting attorney's obligation to notify the crime victim of an offender's custody status and the status of the offender's upcoming court events.
SECTION 3. The Department of Corrections must ensure that the offender information contained within the automated victim notification system is updated frequently enough to timely notify a crime victim that an offender has been released, has been discharged, or has escaped. However, the failure of the automated victim notification system to provide notice to the victim does not establish a separate cause of action by the victim against the state, local officials, or against the Department of Corrections.
SECTION 4. Law enforcement officers shall cooperate with the Department of Corrections in establishing and maintaining the automated victim notification system.
SECTION 5. The Department of Corrections shall administer the automated victim notification system. The cost of administering the system must be paid with appropriations made to the department and from federal grants and contracts.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.