2006 Regular Session
To: Corrections; Appropriations
By: Representative Malone
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 47-7-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE STATE PAROLE BOARD SHALL SERVE STAGGERED TERMS; TO REMOVE THE PROHIBITION ON THE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR STATE PAROLE BOARD MEMBERS WHO TRAVEL FROM HIS OR HER RESIDENCE TO THE NEAREST STATE PENITENTIARY; TO EXTEND THE DATE OF REPEAL ON THIS SECTION FROM JULY 1, 2006, TO JULY 1, 2007; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 47-7-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-7-5. (1) The State Parole Board, created under former Section 47-7-5, is hereby created, continued and reconstituted and shall be composed of five (5) members. The Governor shall appoint the members with the advice and consent of the Senate. All terms shall be at the will and pleasure of the Governor. Any vacancy shall be filled by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Governor shall appoint a chairperson of the board who shall serve staggered terms of five (5) years.
(2) Any person who is appointed to serve on the board shall possess at least a bachelor's degree or a high school diploma and four (4) years' work experience. Each member shall devote his full time to the duties of his office and shall not engage in any other business or profession or hold any other public office. A member shall not receive compensation or per diem in addition to his salary as prohibited under Section 25-3-38. Each member shall keep such hours and workdays as required of full-time state employees under Section 25-1-98. Individuals shall be appointed to serve on the board without reference to their political affiliations. Each board member, including the chairperson, may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses as authorized by Section 25-3-41 * * *.
(3) The board shall have exclusive responsibility for the granting of parole as provided by Sections 47-7-3 and 47-7-17 and shall have exclusive authority for revocation of the same. The board shall have exclusive responsibility for investigating clemency recommendations upon request of the Governor.
(4) The board, its members and staff, shall be immune from civil liability for any official acts taken in good faith and in exercise of the board's legitimate governmental authority.
(5) The budget of the board shall be funded through a separate line item within the general appropriation bill for the support and maintenance of the department. Employees of the department which are employed by or assigned to the board shall work under the guidance and supervision of the board. There shall be an executive secretary to the board who shall be responsible for all administrative and general accounting duties related to the board. The executive secretary shall keep and preserve all records and papers pertaining to the board.
(6) The board shall have no authority or responsibility for supervision of offenders granted a release for any reason, including, but not limited to, probation, parole or executive clemency or other offenders requiring the same through interstate compact agreements. The supervision shall be provided exclusively by the staff of the Division of Community Corrections of the department.
(7) (a) The Parole Board is authorized to select and place offenders in an electronic monitoring program under the conditions and criteria imposed by the Parole Board. The conditions, restrictions and requirements of Section 47-7-17 and Sections 47-5-1001 through 47-5-1015 shall apply to the Parole Board and any offender placed in an electronic monitoring program by the Parole Board.
(b) Any offender placed in an electronic monitoring program under this subsection shall pay the program fee provided in Section 47-5-1013. The program fees shall be deposited in the special fund created in Section 47-5-1007.
(c) The department shall have absolute immunity from liability for any injury resulting from a determination by the Parole Board that an offender be placed in an electronic monitoring program.
(8) (a) The Parole Board shall maintain a central registry of paroled inmates. The Parole Board shall place the following information on the registry: name, address, photograph, crime for which paroled, the date of the end of parole or flat-time date and other information deemed necessary. The Parole Board shall immediately remove information on a parolee at the end of his parole or flat-time date.
(b) When a person is placed on parole, the Parole Board shall inform the parolee of the duty to report to the Parole Officer any change in address ten (10) days before changing address.
(c) The Parole Board shall utilize an Internet web site or other electronic means to release or publish the information.
(d) Records maintained on the registry shall be open to law enforcement agencies and the public and shall be available no later than July 1, 2003.
(9) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2007.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.