2006 Regular Session
To: Corrections; Appropriations
By: Representative Mayhall, Akins, Chism, Denny, Fleming, Gregory, Jennings, Markham, Rotenberry, Snowden, Woods, Hamilton (6th)
AN ACT TO CREATE SECTION 99-43-51, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH CREATES A STATEWIDE AUTOMATIC VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM WITHIN THE MISSISSIPPI CRIME VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS, TO REQUIRE REPORTS TO THE SYSTEM, TO AUTHORIZE THE ACCEPTANCE OF FUNDS FOR STARTUP; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 99-43-51, Mississippi Code of 1972:
99-43-51. (1) There shall be established within the Mississippi Department of Corrections, hereinafter the department, an automated victim notification system that automatically provides crime victims with notice by telephone when there is a change in the status of their offenders. The system must allow a crime victim to initiate telephone calls to the system to receive the latest status report for his or her offender. An automated victim notification system established under this section satisfies the duty of a state agency to notify a crime victim of the change in status of an offender. The failure of the system to provide notice to a crime victim does not establish a separate cause of action by the crime victim against the state, an agency of the state or a municipality, or the officers, employees or contractors of the state, agency of the state or municipality.
(2) Each department and each municipality shall cooperate with the department in establishing and maintaining an automated victim notification system required under this section that automatically notifies a registered crime victim when a committed offender:
(a) Is transferred or assigned to another facility within the department or to a facility outside of the department's operation;
(b) Is given a different security classification;
(c) Is released on temporary leave or otherwise;
(d) Is discharged; or
(e) Has escaped.
(3) All law enforcement agencies, correctional agencies and institutions, district attorneys and municipal prosecutors, courts having jurisdiction over criminal matters or any other public agency dealing with crimes or criminals, when requested by the department, shall:
(a) Install and maintain records needed for the system to accurately ensure a timely notification is provided to a victim of an offender's change in status. However, the failure of the automated victim notification system to a crime victim does not establish a separate cause of action by the crime victim against the state, an agency of the state or a municipality, or the officers, employees or contractors of the state, agency of the state or municipality;
(b) Report to the department any information requested or required; and
(c) Upon the request of the department, provide any other such assistance, information and data which are reasonable and available that will enable the department to properly carry out its powers and duties.
(4) Nothing contained within this section shall supercede current notice requirements provided by the "Mississippi Crime Victims' Bill of Rights," contained in Sections 99-43-1 through 99-43-49 and Section 47-7-17.
SECTION 2. The commissioner of the department shall assess and report to the Legislature the costs and benefits associated with the development, implementation and maintenance of a statewide automated victim notification system. In developing, implementing and maintaining the system, the commissioner of the department is authorized to accept funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for startup costs. Any federal funds received from the Bureau of Justice Assistance require a fifty percent (50%) match of state, local or private funds. The commissioner of the department is also authorized to accept any funds made available and donated to the department by any state, local or private source for the exclusive purpose of developing, implementing and maintaining a statewide automated victim notification system.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.