1997 Regular Session
To: Juvenile Justice
By: Representative Howell
House Bill 403
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-255, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THAT JUVENILES WHO COMMIT CRIMES THAT WOULD BE FELONIES IF COMMITTED BY ADULTS BE PHOTOGRAPHED AND FINGERPRINTED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-255, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-255. (1) Except as otherwise provided by this section, all records involving children made and retained by law enforcement officers and agencies or by the youth court prosecutor and the contents thereof shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed except as provided in Section 43-21-261.
(2) A child in the jurisdiction of the youth court and who has been taken into custody for an act, which if committed by an adult would be considered a felony or offenses involving possession or use of a dangerous weapon or any firearm, shall be photographed and fingerprinted * * *. Any law enforcement agency taking such photographs or fingerprints shall immediately report the existence and location of the photographs and fingerprints to the youth court. Copies of fingerprints known to be those of a child shall be maintained on a local basis only. Such copies of fingerprints may be forwarded to another local, state or federal bureau of criminal identification or regional depository for identification purposes only. Such copies of fingerprints shall be returned promptly and shall not be maintained by such agencies.
(3) Any law enforcement record involving children who have been taken into custody for an act, which if committed by an adult would be considered a felony and/or offenses involving possession or use of a dangerous weapon including photographs and fingerprints, may be released to a law enforcement agency supported by public funds, youth court officials and appropriate school officials without a court order under Section 43-21-261. Law enforcement records shall be released to youth court officials and to appropriate school officials upon written request. Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, any law enforcement agency releasing such records of children in the jurisdiction of the youth court shall immediately report the release and location of the records to the youth court. The law enforcement agencies, youth court officials and school officials receiving such records are prohibited from using the photographs and fingerprints for any purpose other than for criminal law enforcement and juvenile law enforcement. Each law enforcement officer or employee, each youth court official or employee and each school official or employee receiving the records shall submit to the sender a signed statement acknowledging his or her duty to maintain the confidentiality of the records. In no instance shall the fact that such records of children in the jurisdiction of the youth court exist be conveyed to any private individual, firm, association or corporation or to any public or quasi-public agency the duties of which do not include criminal law enforcement or juvenile law enforcement.
(4) When a child's driver's license is suspended for refusal to take a test provided under the Mississippi Implied Consent Law, the law enforcement agency shall report such refusal, without a court order under Section 43-21-261, to the Commissioner of Public Safety in the same manner as such suspensions are reported in cases involving adults.
(5) All records involving a child convicted as an adult or who has been twice adjudicated delinquent for a sex offense as defined by Section 45-33-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be public and shall not be kept confidential.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.