Adopted

 

COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO 1 PROPOSED TO

 

Senate Bill No. 2658

 

BY: Committee

 

     Amend by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

 


     SECTION 1.  Section 97-41-16, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     97-41-16.  (1)  (a)  The provisions of this section shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011."

          (b)  The intent of the Legislature in enacting this law is to provide only for the protection of domesticated dogs and cats, as these are the animals most often serving as the loyal and beloved pets of the citizens of this state.  Animals other than domesticated dogs and cats are specifically excluded from the enhanced protection described in this section for dogs and cats.  The provisions of this section do not apply, and shall not be construed as applying, to any animal other than a domesticated dog or cat.

     (2)  (a)  If a person shall intentionally or with criminal negligence wound, deprive of adequate shelter, food or water, or carry or confine in a cruel manner, any domesticated dog or cat, or cause any person to do the same, then he or she shall be guilty of the offense of simple cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat.  A person who is convicted of the offense of simple cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisoned not more than six (6) months, or both.  Each act of simple cruelty that is committed against more than one (1) domesticated dog or cat constitutes a separate offense.

          (b)  (i)  If a person with malice shall intentionally torture, mutilate, maim, burn, starve * * * or to death, crush, disfigure, drown, suffocate or impale any domesticated dog or cat, or cause any person to do the same, then he or she shall be guilty of the offense of aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat.  Each act of aggravated cruelty that is committed against more than one (1) domesticated dog or cat shall constitute a separate offense.

              ( * * *iii)  A person who is convicted of a first offense of aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat shall be guilty of a * * * misdemeanor felony and fined not more than * * * Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or * * * imprisoned committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than * * * six (6) months three (3) years, or both.

              ( * * *iiiii)  A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offense of aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, shall be guilty of a felony and fined not more than * * * Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) and imprisoned in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than * * * five (5) ten (10) years.

     For purposes of calculating previous offenses of aggravated cruelty under this subparagraph (iii), commission of one or more acts of aggravated cruelty against one or more domesticated dogs or cats within a twenty-four-hour period shall be considered one (1) offense.

          (c)  A conviction entered upon a plea of nolo contendere to a charge of aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat shall be counted as a conviction for the purpose of determining whether a later conviction is a first or subsequent offense.

 * * *  (d)  For purposes of this section, one or more alleged acts of the offenses of simple cruelty to a dog or cat or aggravated cruelty to a dog or cat, committed against one or more domesticated dogs or cats, or any combination thereof, shall constitute a single offense if the alleged acts occurred at the same time.

     (3)  In addition to such fine or imprisonment which may be imposed:

          (a)  The court shall order that restitution be made to the owner of such domesticated dog or cat.  The measure for restitution in money shall be the current replacement value of such loss and the actual veterinarian fees, medicine, special supplies, loss of income and other costs incurred as a result of actions in violation of subsection (2) of this section; and

          (b)  The court may order that:

              (i)  The reasonable costs of sheltering, transporting and rehabilitating the domesticated dog or cat, and any other costs directly related to the care of the dog or cat, be reimbursed to:

                   1.  Any law enforcement agency; or

                   2.  Any agency or department of a political subdivision that is charged with the control, protection or welfare of domesticated or feral dogs or cats within the subdivision.  The agency or department may reimburse a nongovernmental organization for such costs, if the organization possesses nonprofit status under the United States Internal Revenue Code and has the purpose of protecting the welfare of, or preventing cruelty to, dogs or cats whether domesticated or feral.

              (ii)  The person convicted:

                   1.  Receive a psychiatric or psychological evaluation and counseling or treatment for a length of time as prescribed by the court.  The cost of any evaluation, counseling and treatment shall be paid by the offender upon order of the court, up to a maximum amount that is no more than the jurisdictional limit of the sentencing court.

                   2.  Perform community service for a period not exceeding the applicable maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed for conviction of the offense.

                   3.  Be enjoined from employment in any position that involves the care of a domesticated dog or cat, or in any place where domesticated dogs or cats are kept or confined, for a period which the court deems appropriate.

                   4.  If convicted of simple cruelty under this section, be prohibited from owning or possessing or residing with a domesticated dog or cat for any period of time not exceeding five (5) years from the date of sentencing, or any period of time not exceeding fifteen (15) years from the date of sentencing if the conviction involved four (4) or more counts of simple cruelty.

          (c)  The court shall order that any person convicted of an offense of aggravated cruelty under this section be prohibited from owning or possessing or residing with a domesticated dog or cat for a period not less than five (5) years nor more than fifteen (15) years from the date of sentencing.

          (d)  A person found in violation of a court order incorporating the provisions of paragraph (b)(ii)4. or (c) of this subsection may, in addition to any other punishment provided by law, be fined in an amount not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each domesticated dog or cat unlawfully owned or possessed.

          (e)  Any domesticated dog or cat involved in a violation of a court order described in paragraph (d) of this subsection shall be forfeited to the state.

     (4)  (a)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting a person from:

              (i)  Defending himself or herself or another person from physical * * * or economic injury being threatened or caused by a domesticated or feral dog or cat.

              (ii)  Injuring or killing an unconfined domesticated or feral dog or cat on the property of the person, if the unconfined dog or cat is  believed to constitute a threat of physical injury or damage to any domesticated animal under the care or control of such person.

              (iii)  Acting under the provisions of Section 95-5-19 to protect poultry or livestock from a trespassing dog that is in the act of chasing or killing the poultry or livestock, or acting to protect poultry or livestock from a trespassing cat that is in the act of chasing or killing the poultry or livestock.

              (iv)  Engaging in practices that are licensed or lawful under the Mississippi Veterinary Practice Act, Section 73-39-51 et seq., or engaging in activities by any licensed veterinarian while following accepted standards of practice of the profession within the State of Mississippi, including the euthanizing of a dog or cat.

              (v)  Rendering emergency care, treatment, or assistance to a dog or cat that is abandoned, ill, injured, or in distress, if the person rendering the care, treatment, or assistance is acting in good faith.

              (vi)  Performing activities associated with accepted agricultural and animal husbandry practices with regard to livestock, poultry or other animals, including those activities which involve:

                   1.  Using dogs in such practices.

                   2.  Raising, managing and using animals to provide food, fiber or transportation.

                   3.  Butchering animals and processing food.

              (vii)  Training for, or participating in, a rodeo, equine activity, dog show, event sponsored by a kennel club or other bona fide organization that promotes the breeding or showing of dogs or cats, or any other competitive event which involves the lawful use of dogs or cats.

              (viii)  Engaging in accepted practices of dog or cat identification.

              (ix)  Engaging in lawful activities that are regulated by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks or the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, including without limitation, hunting, trapping, fishing, and wildlife and seafood management.

              (x)  Performing scientific, research, medical and zoological activities undertaken by research and education facilities or institutions that are:

                   1.  Regulated under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USCS 2131 et seq., as in effect on July 1, 2011;

                   2.  Regulated under the provisions of the Health Research Extension Act of 1985, Public Law No. 99-158; or

                   3.  Subject to any other applicable state or federal law or regulation governing animal research as in effect on July 1, 2011.

              (xi)  Disposing of or destroying certain dogs under authority of Sections 19-5-50, 21-19-9 and 41-53-11, which allow counties, municipalities and certain law enforcement officers to destroy dogs running at large without proper identification indicating that such dogs have been vaccinated for rabies.

              (xii)  Engaging in professional pest control activities, including those activities governed by the Mississippi Pesticide Law of 1975, Section 69-23-1 et seq.; professional services related to entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, tree surgery, weed control or soil classification, as regulated under Section 69-19-1 et seq.; and any other pest control activities conducted in accordance with state law.

              (xiii)  Performing the humane euthanization of a dog or cat pursuant to Section 97-41-3.

              (xiv)  Engaging in the training of service dogs used to assist those with physical or mental health conditions.

          (b)  If the owner or person in control of a domesticated dog or cat is precluded, by natural or other causes beyond his reasonable control, from acting to prevent an act or omission that might otherwise constitute an allegation of the offense of simple cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat or the offense of aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat, then that person shall not be guilty of the offense.  Natural or other causes beyond the reasonable control of the person include, without limitation, acts of God, declarations of disaster, emergencies, acts of war, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods or other natural disasters.

     (5)  The provisions of this section shall not be construed to:

          (a)  Apply to any animal other than a domesticated dog or cat.

          (b)  Create any civil or criminal liability on the part of the driver of a motor vehicle if the driver unintentionally injures or kills a domesticated dog or cat as a result of the domesticated dog or cat being accidentally hit by the vehicle.

     (6)  (a)  Except as otherwise provided in Section 97-35-47 for the false reporting of a crime, a person, who in good faith and acting without malice, reports a suspected incident of simple cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat, or aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat, to a local animal control, protection or welfare organization, a local law enforcement agency, or the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for reporting the incident.

          (b)  A veterinarian licensed in Mississippi or a person acting at the direction of a veterinarian licensed in Mississippi, who in good faith and acting without malice, participates in the investigation of an alleged offense of simple or aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat, or makes a decision or renders services regarding the care of a domesticated or feral dog or cat that is involved in the investigation, shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for those acts.

     (7)  Other than an agency or department of a political subdivision that is charged with the control, protection or welfare of dogs or cats within the subdivision, any organization that has the purpose of protecting the welfare of, or preventing cruelty to, domesticated dogs or cats, shall register the organization with the sheriff of the county in which the organization operates a physical facility for the protection, welfare or shelter of dogs or cats, on or before the first day of October each year.  The provisions of this subsection (7) shall apply to any organization that has the purpose of protecting the welfare of dogs or cats, or preventing cruelty to dogs or cats, regardless of whether the organization also protects animals other than domesticated dogs or cats.

     (8)  Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of a municipality or board of supervisors to adopt ordinances, rules, regulations or resolutions which may be, in whole or in part, more restrictive than the provisions of this section, and in those cases, the more restrictive ordinances, rules, regulations or resolutions will govern.

     SECTION 2.  The Department of Finance and Administration is authorized to contract with Mississippians Against Human Trafficking (MSAHT) for the purpose of establishing a program to fund or administer shelters that provide counseling, medical needs, transitional housing and other related services to victims of human trafficking and victims of commercial sexual exploitation at no charge to the victim.  The contract shall be funded from monies in the "Victims of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation Fund."  The Department of Finance and Administration, in consultation with (MSAHT), shall have the authority to promulgate the administrative rules that are necessary and proper to further carry out the purposes of Sections 1 through 4 of this act.

     SECTION 3.  (1)  There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be known as the "Victims of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation Fund."  The administration and regulation of the fund shall be vested in the Department of Finance and Administration, in consultation with Mississippians Against Human Trafficking (MSAHT), and shall consist of:

          (a)  Monies appropriated by the Legislature;

          (b)  The interest accruing to the fund;

          (c)  Monies received under the provisions of Section 99-19-75;

          (d)  Monies received from the federal government;

          (e)  Donations to the fund;

          (f)  Assessments collected pursuant to Section 83-39-31;      (g)  All other monies received by the state from every source for the support of shelters for victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation; and

          (h)  Monies received from such other sources as may be provided by law.

     (2)  The monies in the fund shall be distributed by the Department of Finance and Administration, upon appropriation by the Legislature and in consultation with MSAHT, to fund and assist human trafficking shelters and commercial sexual exploitation shelters under the provisions of Sections 1 through 4 of this act.  Not more than ten percent (10%) of the monies that are provided to MSAHT from the fund may be used by MSAHT for administrative expenses and other expenses related to carrying out the provisions of Sections 1 through 4 of this act.

     (3)  Nothing in Sections 1 through 4 of this act shall be construed to limit the ability of a human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation shelter from soliciting private donations or community support.  Any funds raised by a shelter or program described in Sections 1 through 4 of this act from private donations or community support shall not be subject to the requirements described in Sections 1 through 4 of this act.

     SECTION 4.  (1)  To qualify for funds under the program established by the Mississippians Against Human Trafficking (MSAHT) under the contract with the Department of Finance and Administration as authorized in Section 1 of this act, a shelter must meet all of the following requirements:

          (a)  Be incorporated in the state or recognized by the Secretary of State as a private or public nonprofit corporation.  Such corporation must have a board of directors and/or an advisory committee that represents the racial, ethnic and social economic diversity of the area to be served, including, if possible, at least one (1) person who is or has been a victim of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation; and

          (b)  Have designed and developed a program to provide all of the following services to victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation and their children, if applicable:

              (i)  Shelter on a twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week basis;

              (ii)  A twenty-four (24) hours, seven (7) days a week crisis line for calls;

              (iii)  Temporary housing and food facilities;

              (iv)  Referrals to existing services in the community and follow-up on the out come of the referrals, including, but not limited to, referrals for medical care, legal assistance and alcohol and drug treatment;

              (v)  Information regarding reeducation, trauma-informed therapy, job counseling, and training programs, housing referrals and other available social services; and

              (vi)  An available licensed therapist on a twenty-four (24) hours a day basis.

          (c)  Have established procedures for admission of victims of human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation who may seek admission to these shelters on a voluntary basis.

     (2)  No human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation shelter shall qualify for funds from MSAHT under Sections 1 through 4 of this act if it discriminates in its admissions or provision of services on the basis of race, religion, color, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry.

     (3)  Any human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation  shelter receiving funds from MSAHT under Sections 1 through 4 of this act must show receipt of local funds in an amount not less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the funds received from MSAHT.  The local contribution may include in-kind contributions.

     (4)  A human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation shelter receiving funds from MSAHT under Sections 1 through 4 of this act shall not be prohibited from accepting gifts, trusts, bequests, grants, endowments, federal funds, other special source funds or transfers of property of any kind for the support of that shelter program.

     (5)  Each human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation shelter receiving funds from MSAHT under Sections 1 through 4 of this act shall: 

          (a)  Perform background checks and maintain copies of such for each person employed by or volunteering services to the shelter; and

          (b)  Require persons employed by or volunteering services to the shelter to maintain the confidentiality of any information that would identify individuals served by the shelter.

     SECTION 5.  (1)  Any employee, contractor, volunteer or agent of a human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation shelter receiving funds from Mississippians Against Human Trafficking (MSAHT) under Sections 1 through 4 of this act, or of any other entity in possession of information which would tend to identify a victim of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, who makes any observation or comment about the identity or condition of any person admitted to a shelter or receiving services of a shelter, unless directed to do so by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be civilly liable to the person whose personal information was disclosed in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), plus any compensatory damages that the individual may have suffered as the result of the disclosure.

     Any employee, contractor, volunteer or agent of a human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation shelter receiving funds from MSAHT who makes any observation or comment about the location of a shelter to a person who uses the information to gain unauthorized access to the shelter or any person located in the shelter, unless directed to do so by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be civilly liable to the shelter in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), plus any compensatory damages for any losses related to the disclosure of the shelter's location.

     (2)  (a)  No employee, contractor, volunteer or agent of a human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation shelter receiving funds from MSAHT under Sections 1 through 4 of this act shall be compelled to testify in any civil matter, or surrender any documents, files, or other records of the shelter, regarding a victim of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation or sexual assault without the consent of the victim, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection.

          (b)  The court shall perform an in-camera review of the materials in possession of any shelter employees, contractors, agents or volunteers to determine if there would be a good cause for allowing disclosure of the materials before such information is released or otherwise given to any attorney or any other officer of the court, or any relative.  In deciding on disclosure, the court shall consider the following factors:

              (i)  The materiality of the information to the defense; and

              (ii)  The effect that such disclosure may have on the victim and the victim's relationship with the employee, contractor, volunteer, or agent of the shelter.

     (3)  A resident or staff member of a human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation shelter receiving funds from MSAHT under Sections 1 through 4 of this act shall not be required to disclose the street address or physical location of that shelter to any public or private agency.  In all cases where the provision of a physical address is required, a post office box address for the human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation shelter shall be deemed sufficient.

     SECTION 6.  Section 99-19-75, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     99-19-75.  (1)  In addition to any monetary penalties and any other penalties imposed by law, there shall be imposed and collected from each person upon whom a court imposes a fine or other penalty for any violation of Section 97-3-65, 97-5-1 et seq. or 97-3-7, * * *Mississippi Code of 1972, when committed against a minor, an assessment of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be deposited into the Mississippi Children's Trust Fund created in Section 93-21-305, * * *Mississippi Code of 1972, using the procedures described in Section 99-19-73 * * *, Mississippi Code of 1972.

     (2)  In addition to any monetary penalties and any other penalties imposed by law, there shall be imposed and collected from each person upon whom a court imposes a fine or other penalty for any violation of Section 97-3-7, 97-3-65, 97-3-95, 97-5-1 et seq., or 97-29-51, when committed against a minor, an assessment of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be deposited into the "Victims of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation Fund" created in Section 2 of this act.

     SECTION 7.  Section 83-39-31, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     83-39-31.  (1)  Upon every defendant charged with a criminal offense who posts a cash bail bond, a surety bail bond, a property bail bond or a guaranteed arrest bond certificate conditioned for his appearance at trial, there is imposed a fee equal to two percent (2%) of the face value of each bond or Twenty Dollars ($20.00), whichever is greater, to be collected by the clerk of the court when the defendant appears in court for final adjudication or at the time the defendant posts cash bond unless subsection (4) applies.

     (2)  Upon each defendant charged with a criminal offense who is released on his own recognizance, who deposits his driver's license in lieu of bail, or who is released after arrest on written promise to appear, there is imposed a fee of Twenty Dollars ($20.00) to be collected by the clerk of the court when the defendant appears in court for final adjudication unless subsection (4) applies.

     (3)  Upon each defendant convicted of a criminal offense who appeals his conviction and posts a bond conditioned for his appearance, there is imposed a fee equal to two percent (2%) of the face value of each bond or Twenty Dollars ($20.00), whichever is greater.  If such defendant is released on his own recognizance pending his appeal, there is imposed a fee of Twenty Dollars ($20.00).  The fee imposed by this subsection shall be imposed and shall be collected by the clerk of the court when the defendant posts a bond unless subsection (4) applies.

     (4)  If a defendant is found to be not guilty or if the charges against a defendant are dismissed, or if the prosecutor enters a nolle prosequi in the defendant's case or retires the defendant's case to the file, or if the defendant's conviction is reversed on appeal, the fees imposed pursuant to subsections (1), (2), (3) * * *and, (7) and (8) shall not be imposed.

     (5)  The State Auditor shall establish by regulation procedures providing for the timely collection, deposit, accounting and, where applicable, refund of the fees imposed by this section.  The Auditor shall provide in the regulations for certification of eligibility for refunds and may require the defendant seeking a refund to submit a verified copy of a court order or abstract by which the defendant is entitled to a refund.

     (6)  It shall be the duty of the clerk or any officer of the court authorized to take bonds or recognizances to promptly collect, at the time such bonds or recognizances are received or taken, all fees imposed pursuant to this section.  In all cases, the clerk or officer of the court shall deposit all fees so collected with the State Treasurer, pursuant to appropriate procedures established by the State Auditor, for deposit into the State General Fund.

     (7)  In addition to the fees imposed by this section, there shall be an assessment of Ten Dollars ($10.00) imposed upon every criminal defendant charged with a criminal offense who posts a cash bail bond, a surety bail bond, a property bail bond or a guaranteed arrest bond to be collected by the clerk of the court and deposited in the Victims of Domestic Violence Fund created by Section 93-21-117, unless subsection (4) applies.

     (8)  In addition to the fees imposed by this section, there shall be an assessment of Ten Dollars ($10.00) imposed upon every criminal defendant charged with a criminal offense who posts a cash bail bond, a surety bail bond, a property bail bond or a guaranteed arrest bond to be collected by the clerk of the court and deposited in the "Victims of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation Fund" created in Section 2 of this act, unless subsection (4) of this section applies.

     SECTION 8.  Section 43-26-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-26-1.  (1)  There is hereby created a Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.

     (2)  The Chief Administrative Officer of the Department of Child Protection Services shall be the Commissioner of Child Protection Services who shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.  The commissioner shall possess the following qualifications:

          (a)  A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and ten (10) years' experience in management, public administration, finance or accounting; or

          (b)  A master's or doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and five (5) years' experience in management, public administration, finance, law or accounting.

     (3)  The Department of Child Protection Services shall be a subagency independent of, though housed within, the Mississippi Department of Human Services.  The Commissioner of the Department of Child Protection Services shall maintain complete and exclusive operational control of the Department of Child Protection Services' functions, except functions shared with the Department of Human Services as provided in subsection (5)(c) and (d) of this section.

     (4)  The Commissioner of Child Protection Services may assign to the appropriate offices such powers and duties deemed appropriate to carry out the lawful functions of the programs transferred to the department under Chapter 494, Laws of 2016.

     (5)  The Commissioner of Child Protection Services and the Executive Director of the Department of Human Services shall develop and implement a plan for the orderly establishment of the Department of Child Protection Services and its transition from the Office of Family and Children's Services of the Department of Human Services.  The plan shall:

          (a)  Describe a mechanism for the transfer of any equipment, supplies, records, furnishings or other materials, resources or funds dedicated to the operation of the Office of Family and Children's Services of the Department of Human Services, which may be useful to the Department of Child Protection Services;

          (b)  Determine the allocation of resources between the newly created Department of Child Protection Services and the Department of Human Services, as practicable;

          (c)  Determine the allocation of functions where the performance of services may be shared between the Department of Child Protection Services and other employees of the Department of Human Services, as practicable;

          (d)  Determine whether any administrative support services, such as Information Technology Services, bookkeeping and payroll, can continue to be provided by the Department of Human Services; and

          (e)  Identify other areas deemed relevant by the commissioner and make recommendations thereon to achieve an orderly transition.

     (6)  The programs and services provided by the Office of Family and Children's Services of the Department of Human Services under the following statutes shall be provided by the Department of Child Protection Services:  Sections 41-87-5, 41-111-1, 43-1-2, 43-1-51, 43-1-55, 43-1-57, 43-1-63, 43-15-3, 43-15-5, 43-15-6, 43-15-13, 43-15-15, 43-15-17, 43-15-19, 43-15-21, 43-15-23, 43-15-51, 43-15-103, 43-15-105, 43-15-115, 43-15-125, 43-15-201, 43-15-203, 43-15-207 and 43-18-3, Mississippi Code of 1972.

     (7)  The PEER Committee shall review the programs or program of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, beginning with fiscal year 2017 and each year thereafter.  PEER shall submit this review to the Chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Chair of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee, the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor by December 1 of each year.  The review shall consist of the following:

          (a)  A review of the effectiveness of any program of the department for which appropriated outcome measures have been established;

          (b)  Caseloads for social workers for each county or another appropriate geographic area;

          (c)  Turnover rates of social worker staff by county or other geographic area;

          (d)  Sources and uses of department funding; and

          (e)  Any other matters that the PEER Committee considers to be pertinent to the performance of agency programs.

     (8)  (a)  The Commissioner of Child Protection Services shall hire a Coordinator of Services for Victims of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation within the Department of Child Protection Services whose duties shall include, but not be limited to, the following: 

              (i)  To create multidisciplinary teams within the Department of Child Protection Services on an as-needed basis to act as emergency, separate and specialized human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation multidisciplinary teams to rapidly respond to the needs of children who are victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation;

              (ii)  To identify victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation;

              (iii)  To monitor, record and distribute federal human trafficking funds received by the Department of Child Protection Services;

              (iv)  To employ staff to investigate allegations of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation; and

              (v)  To develop and coordinate services within the Department of Child Protection Services to help victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

          (b)  The Commissioner of Child Protection Services shall develop standard operating procedures for the investigation, custody and services provided to alleged victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. 

     SECTION 9.  The following shall be codified as Section 43-26-3, Mississippi Code of 1972:

     43-26-3.  (1)  The Department of Child Protection Services, within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving a report of child abuse, human trafficking of a child or commercial sexual exploitation of a child that is located in this state, in addition to the department's duties under Section 43-21-353, shall:

          (a)  Interview the child in person;

          (b)  Attempt to have an on-site interview with the child's caretaker;

          (c)  Attempt to have law enforcement or an appropriate investigator conduct an on-site interview with the child's alleged abuser; and

          (d)  Document and assess the safety of other children in the care or custody of the caretaker and alleged abuser.

     (2)  For purposes of this section, the term "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner" means a registered nurse who has received a documented forty (40) hours of training as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.  If the child is suspected to be a victim of human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation, the Coordinator of Services for Victims of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation shall activate an emergency, separate and specialized human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation multi-disciplinary team.  The team shall include, at a minimum:  (a) an investigator certified by the Mississippi Human Trafficking Operational Task Force Board in collaboration with MSAHT, (b) an investigator from the Department of Child Protection Services, and (c) a person certified by the MSAHT as an advocate for victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.  Such emergency multidisciplinary team shall be created without authorization of the youth court.

     (3)  Any person under eighteen (18) years of age taken into custody under the provisions of Section 97-29-49 shall be presumed a victim of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

     SECTION 10.  Section 43-15-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-15-51.  (1)  The district attorneys, the Department of Human Services or the Department of Child Protection Services may initiate formal cooperative agreements with the appropriate agencies to create multidisciplinary child protection teams in order to implement a coordinated multidisciplinary team approach to intervention in reports involving alleged commercial sexual exploitation, human trafficking, or severe or potential felony child physical or sexual abuse, exploitation, or maltreatment.  The multidisciplinary team also may be known as a child abuse task force.  The purpose of the team or task force shall be to assist in the evaluation and investigation of reports and to provide consultation and coordination for agencies involved in child protection cases.  The agencies to be included as members of the multidisciplinary team are:  the district attorney's office, city and county law enforcement agencies, county attorneys, youth court prosecutors, the Human Trafficking Coordinator or his or her designee and other agencies as appropriate.  The Department of Child Protection Services shall be included as a member of the multidisciplinary team if the department does not initiate creation of the team.

     (2)  Except as otherwise provided in Section 43-26-3, to implement the multidisciplinary child abuse team, the team or task force must be authorized by court order from the appropriate youth court.  The court order will designate which agencies will participate in the cooperative multidisciplinary team.

     (3)  (a)  Teams created under this section may invite other persons to serve on the team who have knowledge of and experience in child abuse and neglect and commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking matters.  These persons may include licensed mental and physical health practitioners and physicians, dentists, representatives of the district attorney's office and the Attorney General's office, experts in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse or sexual abuse, the victim assistance coordinator of the district attorney's office, staff members of a child advocacy center, sexual assault nurse examiners and experts in providing services to commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking victims.

          (b)  (i)  A child advocacy center means an agency that advocates on behalf of children alleged to have been abused and assists in the coordination of the investigation of child abuse by providing a location for forensic interviews and promoting the coordination of services for children alleged to have been abused.  A child advocacy center provides services that include, but are not limited to, forensic medical examinations, mental health and related support services, court advocacy, consultation, training for social workers, law enforcement training, and child abuse multidisciplinary teams, and staffing of multidisciplinary teams.

              (ii)  Child advocacy centers may provide a video-taped forensic interview of the child in a child friendly environment or separate building.  The purpose of the video-taped forensic interview is to prevent further trauma to a child in the investigation and prosecution of child physical and sexual abuse cases.  Child advocacy centers can also assist child victims by providing therapeutic counseling subsequent to the interview by a qualified therapist.  Child advocacy centers can also assist law enforcement and prosecutors by acquainting child victim witnesses and their parents or guardians to the courtroom through child court school programs.

     (4)  A team or task force created under this section shall review records on cases referred to the team by the Department of * * *Human Child Protection Services or law enforcement or the district attorney's office.  The team shall meet at least monthly.

     (5)  No person shall disclose information obtained from a meeting of the multidisciplinary team unless necessary to comply with * * *Department of Human Services' the Department of Child Protection Services regulations or conduct and proceeding in youth court or criminal court proceedings or as authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction.

     SECTION 11.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.


     Further, amend by striking the title in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

 


     AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-41-16, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE OFFENSE OF ABUSE OF A DOMESTICATED DOG OR CAT; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION TO CONTRACT WITH MISSISSIPPIANS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A PROGRAM TO PROVIDE COUNSELING, MEDICAL NEEDS, TRANSITIONAL HOUSING AND OTHER RELATED SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION THROUGH SHELTERS ESTABLISHED TO SERVE SUCH VICTIMS AT NO CHARGE TO THE VICTIM; TO CREATE THE "VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION FUND" AS A SPECIAL FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY; TO PROVIDE THAT MONIES IN THE FUND SHALL BE DISTRIBUTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION AND MISSISSIPPIANS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING TO FUND AND ASSIST HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION SHELTERS; TO PROVIDE THE REQUIREMENTS THAT SHELTERS MUST MEET TO QUALIFY FOR FUNDS UNDER THE PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTIONS 99-19-75 AND 83-39-31, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE CERTAIN ASSESSMENTS TO PROVIDE MONIES TO BE DEPOSITED INTO THE FUND; TO AMEND SECTION 43-26-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES TO HIRE A COORDINATOR OF SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES TO DEVELOP STANDARDS FOR THE INVESTIGATION, CUSTODY AND CARE FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION; TO PROVIDE THE DUTIES FOR THE COORDINATOR OF SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION; TO CREATE NEW SECTION 43-26-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES TO FOLLOW CERTAIN PROCEDURES WHEN RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE, HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION; TO REQUIRE CERTAIN PERSONS TO BE PLACED ON AN EMERGENCY, SEPARATE AND SPECIALIZED MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM CREATED BY THE COORDINATOR OF SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION; TO AMEND SECTION 43-15-51, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PRECEDING SECTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.