2007 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Chaney
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 43-21-321 AND 43-21-605, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE NOTIFICATION TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF A STUDENT'S INCARCERATION IN A JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY AND TO SET STANDARDS FOR EDUCATIONAL SERVICES PROVIDED TO DETAINED STUDENTS IN THESE FACILITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-80, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE OFFICE OF DROPOUT PREVENTION TO DEVELOP A CHECKLIST AND MONITOR DATA COLLECTION CONCERNING THE TRACKING OF STUDENTS WHO ENTER AND LEAVE DETENTION CENTERS IN ORDER TO GATHER ACCURATE DATA ON YOUTH IN JUVENILE DETENTION CENTERS TO PROPERLY TRACK STUDENTS AND MONITOR THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES OFFERED AT THE CENTERS; TO AMEND SECTION 43-27-109, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE EMPLOYMENT OF FULL-TIME BEHAVIORAL SPECIALISTS AND ASSISTANT TEACHERS AT EACH OF THE 17 DETENTION CENTERS; TO AUTHORIZE A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO SECURE NECESSARY TECHNOLOGY TO IMPLEMENT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-321, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-321. (1) All juveniles shall undergo a health screening within one (1) hour of admission to any juvenile detention center, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible. Information obtained during the screening shall include, but shall not be limited to, the juvenile's:
(a) Mental health;
(b) Suicide risk;
(c) Alcohol and other drug use and abuse;
(d) Physical health;
(e) Aggressive behavior;
(f) Family relations;
(g) Peer relations;
(h) Social skills;
(i) Educational status; and
(j) Vocational status.
(2) If the screening instrument indicates that a juvenile is in need of emergency medical care or mental health intervention services, the detention staff shall refer those juveniles to the proper health care facility or community mental health service provider for further evaluation, as soon as reasonably possible. If the screening instrument, such as the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument version 2 (MAYSI-2) or other comparable mental health screening instrument indicates that the juvenile is in need of emergency medical care or mental health intervention services, the detention staff shall refer the juvenile to the proper health care facility or community mental health service provider for further evaluation, recommendation and referral for treatment, if necessary, within forty-eight (48) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and statutory state holidays.
(3) All juveniles shall receive a thorough orientation to the center's procedures, rules, programs and services. The intake process shall operate twenty-four (24) hours per day.
(4) The directors of all of the juvenile detention centers shall amend or develop written procedures for admission of juveniles who are new to the system. These shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Determine that the juvenile is legally committed to the facility;
(b) Make a complete search of the juvenile and his possessions;
(c) Dispose of personal property;
(d) Require shower and hair care, if necessary;
(e) Issue clean, laundered clothing, as needed;
(f) Issue personal hygiene articles;
(g) Perform medical, dental and mental health screening;
(h) Assign a housing unit for the juvenile;
(i) Record basic personal data and information to be used for mail and visiting lists;
(j) Assist juveniles in notifying their families of their admission and procedures for mail and visiting;
(k) Assign a registered number to the juvenile; and
(l) Provide written orientation materials to the juvenile.
(5) Upon a student's incarceration in a juvenile detention center, the detention center shall notify school district officials on the first school day following the student's placement in the facility.
(6) All juvenile detention centers shall adhere to the following minimum standards:
(a) Each center shall have a manual that states the policies and procedures for operating and maintaining the facility, and the manual shall be reviewed annually and revised as needed;
(b) Each center shall have a policy that specifies support for a drug-free workplace for all employees, and the policy shall, at a minimum, include the following:
(i) The prohibition of the use of illegal drugs;
(ii) The prohibition of the possession of any illegal drugs except in the performance of official duties;
(iii) The procedure used to ensure compliance with a drug-free workplace policy;
(iv) The opportunities available for the treatment and counseling for drug abuse; and
(v) The penalties for violation of the drug-free workplace policy;
(c) Each center shall have a policy, procedure and practice that ensures that personnel files and records are current, accurate and confidential;
(d) Each center shall promote the safety and protection of juvenile detainees from personal abuse, corporal punishment, personal injury, disease, property damage and harassment;
(e) Each center shall have written policies that allow for mail and telephone rights for juvenile detainees, and the policies are to be made available to all staff and reviewed annually;
(f) Center food service personnel shall implement sanitation practices based on State Department of Health food codes;
(g) Each center shall provide juveniles with meals that are nutritionally adequate and properly prepared, stored and served according to the State Department of Health food codes;
(h) Each center shall offer special diet food plans to juveniles under the following conditions:
(i) When prescribed by appropriate medical or dental staff; or
(ii) As directed or approved by a registered dietitian or physician; and
(iii) As a complete meal service and not as a supplement to or choice between dietary meals and regular meals;
(i) Each center shall serve religious diets when approved and petitioned in writing by a religious professional on behalf of a juvenile and approved by the juvenile detention center director;
(j) Juvenile detention center directors shall provide a written method of ensuring regular monitoring of daily housekeeping, pest control and sanitation practices, and centers shall comply with all federal, state and local sanitation and health codes;
(k) Juvenile detention center staff shall screen detainees for medical, dental and mental health needs during the intake process. If medical, dental or mental health assistance is indicated by the screening, or if the intake officer deems it necessary, the detainee shall be provided access to appropriate health care professionals for evaluation and treatment. Youth who are held less than seventy-two (72) hours shall receive treatment for emergency medical, dental or mental health assistance or chronic conditions if a screening indicates such treatment is needed. A medical history of all detainees shall be completed by the intake staff of the detention center immediately after arrival at the facility by using a medical history form which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(i) Any medical, dental and mental health treatments and medications the juvenile is taking;
(ii) Any chronic health problems such as allergies, seizures, diabetes, hearing or sight loss, hearing conditions or any other health problems; and
(iii) Documentation of all medications administered and all health care services rendered;
(l) Juvenile detention center detainees shall be provided access to medical care and treatment while in custody of the facility;
(m) Each center shall provide reasonable access by youth services or county counselors for counseling opportunities. The youth service or county counselor shall visit with detainees on a regular basis;
(n) Juvenile detention center detainees shall be referred to other counseling services when necessary including: mental health services; crisis intervention; referrals for treatment of drugs and alcohol and special offender treatment groups;
(o) Local school districts shall work collaboratively with juvenile detention center staff to provide special education services as required by state and federal law;
(p) Recreational services shall be made available to juvenile detainees for purpose of physical exercise;
(q) Juvenile detention center detainees shall have the opportunity to participate in the practices of their religious faith as long as such practices do not violate facility rules and are approved by the director of the juvenile detention center;
(r) Each center shall provide sufficient space for a visiting room, and the facility shall encourage juveniles to maintain ties with families through visitation, and the detainees shall be allowed the opportunity to visit with the social workers, counselors and lawyers involved in the juvenile's care;
(s) Juvenile detention centers shall ensure that staffs create transition planning for youth leaving the facilities. Plans shall include providing the youth and his or her parents or guardian with copies of the youth's detention center education and health records, information regarding the youth's home community, referrals to mental and counseling services when appropriate, and providing assistance in making initial appointments with community service providers; the transition team will work together to help the detainee successfully transition back into the school district once released from detention; and
(t) The Juvenile Detention Facilities Monitoring Unit shall monitor the detention facilities for compliance with these minimum standards, and no child shall be housed in a detention facility the monitoring unit determines is substantially out of compliance with the standards prescribed in this subsection.
(7) Programs and services shall be initiated for all juveniles once they have completed the admissions process.
(8) (a) Programs and professional services may be provided by the detention staff, youth court staff or the staff of the local or state agencies, or those programs and professional services may be provided through contractual arrangements with community agencies.
(b) School districts will contract with the appropriate juvenile detention centers to ensure educational services are provided to detainees.
(9) Persons providing the services required in this section must be qualified or trained in their respective fields.
(10) (a) During the first ten (10) days of incarceration, the detainee shall receive the following services:
(i) Computer-based diagnostic assessment of grade-level mastery of ready and math skills;
(ii) Behavior modification counseling;
(iii) Individualized computer-based instruction to address any weaknesses identified in the assessment conducted under subparagraph (i); and
(iv) Computer-based character education to improve behavior.
(b) After the first ten (10) days of incarceration, the detainee shall begin a transition program.
(i) A transition team consisting of a school district representative, school attendance officer, youth court judge, behavior specialist and the detainee's parent or guardian will develop an individualized transition plan for the detainee;
(ii) The school district shall be responsible for providing the necessary instructional program for the student to coincide with the district's curriculum; and
(iii) The detainee shall continue to receive behavioral modification counseling.
(11) Each juvenile detention center shall have at least one (1) computer for every five (5) detainees to provide each student receiving educational services with the necessary access to a computer.
(12) All directors of juvenile detention centers shall amend or develop written procedures to fit the programs and services described in this section.
SECTION 2. Section 43-21-605, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-605. (1) In delinquency cases, the disposition order may include any of the following alternatives:
(a) Release the child without further action;
(b) Place the child in the custody of the parents, a relative or other persons subject to any conditions and limitations, including restitution, as the youth court may prescribe;
(c) Place the child on probation subject to any reasonable and appropriate conditions and limitations, including restitution, as the youth court may prescribe;
(d) Order terms of treatment calculated to assist the child and the child's parents or guardian which are within the ability of the parent or guardian to perform;
(e) Order terms of supervision which may include participation in a constructive program of service or education or civil fines not in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or restitution not in excess of actual damages caused by the child to be paid out of his own assets or by performance of services acceptable to the victims and approved by the youth court and reasonably capable of performance within one (1) year;
(f) Suspend the child's driver's license by taking and keeping it in custody of the court for not more than one (1) year;
(g) Give legal custody of the child to any of the following:
(i) The Department of Human Services for appropriate placement; or
(ii) Any public or private organization, preferably community-based, able to assume the education, care and maintenance of the child, which has been found suitable by the court; or
(iii) The Department of Human Services for placement in a wilderness training program or the Division of Youth Services for placement in a state-supported training school, except that no child under the age of ten (10) years shall be committed to a state training school, and no first-time nonviolent youth offenders shall be committed to a state training school until all other options provided for in this section have been considered and the court makes a specific finding of fact that commitment is appropriate.
The training school may retain custody of the child until the child's twentieth birthday but for no longer. When the child is committed to a training school, the child shall remain in the legal custody of the training school until the child has made sufficient progress in treatment and rehabilitation and it is in the best interest of the child to release the child. However, the superintendent of a state training school, in consultation with the treatment team, may parole a child at any time he may deem it in the best interest and welfare of such child. Twenty (20) days prior to such parole, the training school shall notify the committing court of the pending release. The youth court may then arrange subsequent placement after a reconvened disposition hearing, except that the youth court may not recommit the child to the training school or any other secure facility without an adjudication of a new offense or probation or parole violation. The Department of Human Services shall ensure that staffs create transition planning for youth leaving the facilities. Plans shall include providing the youth and his or her parents or guardian with copies of the youth's training school education and health records, information regarding the youth's home community, referrals to mental and counseling services when appropriate, and providing assistance in making initial appointments with community service providers. Prior to assigning the custody of any child to any private institution or agency, the youth court through its designee shall first inspect the physical facilities to determine that they provide a reasonable standard of health and safety for the child. No child shall be placed in the custody of a state training school for a status offense or for contempt of or revocation of a status offense adjudication unless the child is contemporaneously adjudicated for having committed an act of delinquency that is not a status offense. A disposition order rendered under this subparagraph shall meet the following requirements:
1. The disposition is the least restrictive alternative appropriate to the best interest of the child and the community;
2. The disposition allows the child to be in reasonable proximity to the family home community of each child given the dispositional alternatives available and the best interest of the child and the state; and
3. The disposition order provides that the court has considered the medical, educational, vocational, social and psychological guidance, training, social education, counseling, substance abuse treatment and other rehabilitative services required by that child as determined by the court;
(h) Recommend to the child and the child's parents or guardian that the child attend and participate in the Youth Challenge Program under the Mississippi National Guard, as created in Section 43-27-203, subject to the selection of the child for the program by the National Guard; however, the child must volunteer to participate in the program. The youth court shall not order any child to apply or attend the program;
(i) (i) Adjudicate the juvenile to the Statewide Juvenile Work Program if the program is established in the court's jurisdiction. The juvenile and his parents or guardians must sign a waiver of liability in order to participate in the work program. The judge will coordinate with the youth services counselors as to placing participants in the work program;
(ii) The severity of the crime, whether or not the juvenile is a repeat offender or is a felony offender will be taken into consideration by the judge when adjudicating a juvenile to the work program. The juveniles adjudicated to the work program will be supervised by police officers or reserve officers. The term of service will be from twenty-four (24) to one hundred twenty (120) hours of community service. A juvenile will work the hours to which he was adjudicated on the weekends during school and weekdays during the summer. Parents are responsible for a juvenile reporting for work. Noncompliance with an order to perform community service will result in a heavier adjudication. A juvenile may be adjudicated to the community service program only two (2) times;
(iii) The judge shall assess an additional fine on the juvenile which will be used to pay the costs of implementation of the program and to pay for supervision by police officers and reserve officers. The amount of the fine will be based on the number of hours to which the juvenile has been adjudicated;
(j) Order the child to participate in a youth court work program as provided in Section 43-21-627;
(k) Order the child into a juvenile detention center operated by the county or into a juvenile detention center operated by any county with which the county in which the court is located has entered into a contract for the purpose of housing delinquents. The time period for detention cannot exceed ninety (90) days, and any detention exceeding forty-five (45) days shall be administratively reviewed by the youth court no later than forty-five (45) days after the entry of the order. The youth court judge may order that the number of days specified in the detention order be served either throughout the week or on weekends only. No first-time nonviolent youth offender shall be committed to a detention center for a period of ninety (90) days until all other options provided for in this section have been considered and the court makes a specific finding of fact that commitment to a detention center is appropriate. However, if a child is committed to a detention center ninety (90) consecutive days, the disposition order shall meet the following requirements:
(i) The disposition order is the least restrictive alternative appropriate to the best interest of the child and the community;
(ii) The disposition order allows the child to be in reasonable proximity to the family home community of each child given the dispositional alternatives available and the best interest of the child and the state; and
(iii) The disposition order provides that the court has considered the medical, educational, vocational, social and psychological guidance, training, social education, counseling, substance abuse treatment and other rehabilitative services required by that child as determined by the court; or
(l) Referral to A-team provided system of care services.
(2) If a disposition order requires that a child miss school due to other placement, the youth court shall notify a child's school while maintaining the confidentiality of the youth court process. If a disposition order requires placement of a child in a juvenile detention facility, the facility shall comply with the educational services requirements of Section 43-21-321.
(3) In addition to any of the disposition alternatives authorized under subsection (1) of this section, the disposition order in any case in which the child is adjudicated delinquent for an offense under Section 63-11-30 shall include an order denying the driver's license and driving privileges of the child as required under Section 63-11-30(9).
(4) If the youth court places a child in a state-supported training school, the court may order the parents or guardians of the child and other persons living in the child's household to receive counseling and parenting classes for rehabilitative purposes while the child is in the legal custody of the training school. A youth court entering an order under this subsection (4) shall utilize appropriate services offered either at no cost or for a fee calculated on a sliding scale according to income unless the person ordered to participate elects to receive other counseling and classes acceptable to the court at the person's sole expense.
(5) Fines levied under this chapter shall be paid into the general fund of the county but, in those counties wherein the youth court is a branch of the municipal government, it shall be paid into the municipal treasury.
(6) Any institution or agency to which a child has been committed shall give to the youth court any information concerning the child as the youth court may at any time require.
(7) The youth court shall not place a child in another school district who has been expelled from a school district for the commission of a violent act. For the purpose of this subsection, "violent act" means any action which results in death or physical harm to another or an attempt to cause death or physical harm to another.
(8) The youth court may require drug testing as part of a disposition order. If a child tests positive, the court may require treatment, counseling and random testing, as it deems appropriate. The costs of such tests shall be paid by the parent, guardian or custodian of the child unless the court specifically finds that the parent, guardian or custodian is unable to pay.
(9) The Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services, shall operate and maintain services for youth adjudicated delinquent at Columbia and Oakley Training Schools. The program shall be designed for children committed to the training schools by the youth courts. The purpose of the program is to promote good citizenship, self-reliance, leadership and respect for constituted authority, teamwork, cognitive abilities and appreciation of our national heritage. The Division of Youth Services shall issue credit towards academic promotions and high school completion. The Division of Youth Services may award credits to each student who meets the requirements for a general education development certification. The Division of Youth Services must also provide to each special education eligible youth the services required by that youth's individualized education plan.
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SECTION 3. Section 37-13-80, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-80. (1) There is created the Office of Dropout Prevention within the State Department of Education. The office shall be responsible for the administration of a statewide dropout prevention program and the Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement.
(2) The State Superintendent of Public Education shall appoint a director for the Office of Dropout Prevention, who shall meet all qualifications established by the State Superintendent of Public Education and the State Personnel Board. The director shall be responsible for the proper administration of the Office of Dropout Prevention and any other regulations or policies that may be adopted by the State Board of Education. The director shall report to the Legislature on the activities and programs of the office by January 1 of each year beginning in 2009.
(3) Each school district shall implement a dropout prevention program approved by the Office of Dropout Prevention of the State Department of Education by the 2008-2009 school year.
(4) (a) School attendance officers, working with school district officials, shall gather accurate data on youth in juvenile detention centers to properly track students and monitor the effectiveness of the programs and services offered at centers.
(b) The state office of dropout prevention shall develop a checklist so that data collection will maintain consistency and provide useful information. The Department of Education will initiate the tracking of students who enter and leave detention centers through its statewide data collection system, known as the Mississippi Student Information System.
(5) School districts will build into their dropout prevention plans how to provide required educational services to students who stay in centers longer than ten (10) days; transition plans must meet accreditation standards and will follow the student.
(6) It is the intent of the Legislature that, through the statewide dropout prevention program and the dropout prevention programs implemented by each school district, the graduation rate for cohort classes will be increased to not less than eighty-five percent (85%) by the 2018-2019 school year. The Office of Dropout Prevention shall establish graduation rate benchmarks for each two-year period from the 2008-2009 school year through the 2018-2019 school year, which shall serve as guidelines for increasing the graduation rate for cohort classes on a systematic basis to eighty-five percent (85%) by the 2018-2019 school year.
SECTION 4. Section 43-27-109, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-27-109. (1) The Department of Human Services may employ a sufficient number of new family protection specialists, youth counselors and clerical staff to reduce the caseload sizes for social workers and youth counselors of the department and to reduce the workload on clerical staff, if funds are appropriated to the department for that purpose.
(2) The Department of Education will develop the qualifications for a full-time behavioral specialist and a full-time assistant teacher and provide funding to the school districts, which will then contract with the appropriate juvenile detention centers to ensure the services are provided by qualified personnel.
SECTION 5. The Department of Education will work with the Department of Information and Technology Services to develop a Request for Proposal Package for the selection of hardware and software which will offer statewide consistency in computerized assessment of student academic skills and to develop an individualized plan in reading and mathematics instruction for each student placed in a juvenile detention center. The Department of Education shall monitor school districts and their implementation of the entire process of serving youth in detention centers.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.