2007 Regular Session

To: Judiciary A

By: Representative Gunn

House Bill 359



     SECTION 1.  Section 45-27-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     45-27-3.  For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless the context requires otherwise:

          (a)  "Criminal justice agencies" means public agencies at all levels of government which perform as their principal function activities relating to the apprehension, prosecution, adjudication or rehabilitation of criminal offenders.

          (b)  "Offense" means an act which is a felony or a misdemeanor.

          (c)  "Justice information system" means those agencies, procedures, mechanisms, media and forms, as well as the information itself, which are or become involved in the origination, transmittal, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information related to reported offenses and offenders, and the subsequent actions related to such events or persons.

          (d)  "Criminal justice information" means the following classes of information:

              (i)  "Secret data" which includes information dealing with those elements of the operation and programming of the Mississippi Justice Information Center computer system and the communications network and satellite computer systems handling criminal justice information which prevents unlawful intrusion into the system.

              (ii)  "Criminal history record information," which means information collected by criminal justice agencies on individuals consisting of identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, detentions, releases on bond, indictments, affidavits, information or other formal charges and any disposition arising therefrom, sentencing, correctional supervision and release.  The term does not include identification information such as fingerprint records or images to the extent that such information does not indicate involvement of the individual in the criminal justice system.

              (iii)  "Sensitive data," which contains statistical information in the form of reports, lists and documentation which may identify a group characteristic, such as "white" males or "stolen" guns.

              (iv)  "Restricted data," which contains information relating to data-gathering techniques, distribution methods, manuals and forms.

              (v)  "Law enforcement agency" or "originating agency" or "agency" which includes a governmental unit or agency composed of one or more persons employed full time or part time by the state as a political subdivision thereof for the following purposes:  (A) the administration of criminal justice, which includes the prevention and detection of crime; the apprehension, pretrial release, post-trial release, prosecution, adjudication, correctional supervision or rehabilitation of accused persons or criminal offenders; or the collection, storage and dissemination of criminal history record information; or (B) the enforcement of state laws or local ordinances, which includes making arrests for crimes while acting within the scope of their authority.  The agency must perform one or more of the above-described criminal justice duties and allocate a substantial part of its annual budget to the administration of criminal justice.

          (e)  "Center" means the Mississippi Justice Information Center or the Mississippi Criminal Information Center.

          (f)  "Department" means the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

          (g)  "Conviction information" means criminal history record information disclosing that a person was found guilty of, or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, a criminal offense in a court of law, together with any sentencing information.  This includes a conviction in a federal or military tribunal, including a court martial conducted by the Armed Forces of the United States, or a conviction for an offense committed on an Indian Reservation or other federal property, or any court of a state of the United States.

          (h)  "Nonconviction information" means arrest without disposition information if an interval of one (1) year has elapsed from the date of arrest and no active prosecution for the charge is pending, as well as, all acquittals and all dismissals.

     SECTION 2.  Section 45-27-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     45-27-7.  (1)  The Mississippi Justice Information Center shall:

          (a)  Develop, operate and maintain an information system which will support the collection, storage, retrieval and dissemination of all data described in this chapter, consistent with those principles of scope, security and responsiveness prescribed by this chapter.

          (b)  Cooperate with all criminal justice agencies within the state in providing those forms, procedures, standards and related training assistance necessary for the uniform operation of the statewide center.

          (c)  Offer assistance and, when practicable, instruction to all local law enforcement agencies in establishing efficient local records systems.

          (d)  Make available, upon request, through electronic and any other means which insures immediate access, to all federal criminal justice agencies and to criminal justice agencies in other states any information in the files of the center which will aid such agencies in the performance of their official duties.  For this purpose the center shall operate on a twenty-four-hour basis, seven (7) days a week.  Such information, when authorized by the director of the center, may also be made available to any other agency of this state or any political subdivision thereof and to any federal agency, upon assurance by the agency concerned that the information is to be used for official purposes only in the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension of criminal offenders.

          (e)  Cooperate with other agencies of this state, the crime information agencies of other states, and the national crime information center systems of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in developing and conducting an interstate, national and international system of criminal identification and records.

          (f)  Make available, upon request, to nongovernmental entities or employers certain information for noncriminal justice purposes as specified in Section 45-27-12.

          (g)  Institute necessary measures in the design, implementation and continued operation of the justice information system to ensure the privacy and security of the system.  Such measures shall include establishing complete control over use of and access to the system and restricting its integral resources and facilities and those either possessed or procured and controlled by criminal justice agencies.  Such security measures must meet standards developed by the center as well as those set by the nationally operated systems for interstate sharing of information.

          (h)  Provide data processing for files listing motor vehicle drivers' license numbers, motor vehicle registration numbers, wanted and stolen motor vehicles, outstanding warrants, identifiable stolen property and such other files as may be of general assistance to law enforcement agencies; provided, however, that the purchase, lease, rental or acquisition in any manner of "computer equipment or services," as defined in Section 25-53-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be subject to the approval of the Mississippi Information Technology Services.

          (i)  Maintain a field coordination and support unit which shall have all the power conferred by law upon any peace officer of this state.

     (2)  The department, including the investigative division or the center, may:

          (a)  Obtain and store fingerprints, descriptions, photographs and any other pertinent identifying data from crime scenes and on persons who:

              (i)  Have been or are hereafter arrested or taken into custody in this state:

                   1.  For an offense which is a felony;

                   2.  For an offense which is a misdemeanor;

                   3.  As a fugitive from justice; or

              (ii)  Are or become habitual offenders; or

              (iii)  Are currently or become confined to any prison, penitentiary or other penal institution; or

              (iv)  Are unidentified human corpses found in the state; or

              (v)  Have submitted fingerprints for conducting criminal history record checks.

          (b)  Compare all fingerprint and other identifying data received with that already on file and determine whether or not a criminal record is found for such person, and at once inform the requesting agency or arresting officer of those facts that may be disseminated consistent with applicable security and privacy laws and regulations.  A record shall be maintained for a minimum of one (1) year of the dissemination of each individual criminal history, including at least the date and recipient of such information.

          (c)  Establish procedures to respond to those individuals who file requests to review their own records, pursuant to Sections 45-27-11 and 45-27-12, and to cooperate in the correction of the central center records and those of contributing agencies when their accuracy has been successfully challenged either through the related contributing agencies or by court order issued on behalf of an individual.

          (d)  Retain in the system the fingerprints of all law enforcement officers and part-time law enforcement officers, as those terms are defined in Section 45-6-3, and of all applicants to law enforcement agencies.

     SECTION 3.  Section 45-27-8, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     45-27-8.  The center, by direction of the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, shall establish and collect fees reasonably calculated to reimburse the center for the actual cost of searching, reviewing, duplicating, making available electronically and mailing records or information of any kind maintained by the center and authorized for release by this chapter.

     No records shall be furnished by the center which are classified as confidential by law.

     All fees collected by the center pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the Criminal Information Center Special Fund hereby created in the State Treasury.  Monies deposited in such fund shall be expended by the center, as authorized and appropriated by the Legislature, to defray the expenses of the center.  Any revenue in the fund which is not encumbered at the end of the fiscal year shall not lapse to the State General Fund but shall remain in the special fund.

     SECTION 4.  Section 45-27-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     45-27-9.  (1)  All criminal justice agencies within the state shall submit to the center fingerprints, descriptions, photographs (when specifically requested), and other identifying data on persons who have been lawfully arrested or taken into custody in this state for all felonies and misdemeanors as described in Section 45-27-7(2)(a).  It shall be the duty of all chiefs of police, sheriffs, district attorneys, courts, court clerks, judges, parole and probation officers, wardens or other persons in charge of correctional institutions in this state to furnish the center with any other data deemed necessary by the center to carry out its responsibilities under this chapter.

     (2)  All persons in charge of law enforcement agencies shall obtain, or cause to be obtained, fingerprints according to the fingerprint system of identification established by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, full face and profile photographs (if equipment is available) and other available identifying data, of each person arrested or taken into custody for an offense of a type designated in subsection (1) of this section, of all persons arrested or taken into custody as fugitives from justice and of all unidentified human corpses in their jurisdictions, but photographs need not be taken if it is known that photographs of the type listed, taken within the previous year, are on file.  Any record taken in connection with any person arrested or taken into custody and subsequently released without charge or cleared of the offense through court proceedings shall be purged from the files of the center and destroyed upon receipt by the center of a lawful expunction order.  All persons in charge of law enforcement agencies shall submit to the center detailed descriptions of arrests or takings into custody which result in release without charge, release on bond or subsequent exoneration from criminal liability immediately after such release or exoneration.

     (3)  Fingerprints and other identifying data required to be taken under subsection (2) shall be forwarded within twenty-four (24) hours after taking for filing and classification, but the period of twenty-four (24) hours may be extended to cover any intervening holiday or weekend.  Photographs taken shall be forwarded at the discretion of the agency concerned, but, if not forwarded, the fingerprint record shall be marked "Photo Available" and the photographs shall be forwarded subsequently if the center so requests.

     (4)  All persons in charge of law enforcement agencies shall submit to the center detailed descriptions of arrest warrants and related identifying data immediately upon determination of the fact that the warrant cannot be served for the reasons stated.  If the warrant is subsequently served or withdrawn, the law enforcement agency concerned must immediately notify the center of such service or withdrawal.  Also, the agency concerned must annually, no later than January 31 of each year and at other times if requested by the center, confirm all such arrest warrants which continue to be outstanding.  Upon receipt of a lawful expunction order, the center shall purge and destroy files of all data relating to an offense when an individual is subsequently exonerated from criminal liability of that offense.  The center shall not be liable for the failure to purge, destroy or expunge any records if an agency or court fails to forward to the center proper documentation ordering such action.

     (5)  All persons in charge of state correctional institutions shall obtain fingerprints, according to the fingerprint system of identification established by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or as otherwise directed by the center, and full face and profile photographs of all persons received on commitment to such institutions.  The prints so taken shall be forwarded to the center, together with any other identifying data requested, within ten (10) days after the arrival at the institution of the person committed.  At the time of release, the institution will again obtain fingerprints, as before, and forward them to the center within ten (10) days, along with any other related information requested by the center.  The institution shall notify the center immediately upon the release of such person.

     (6)  All persons in charge of law enforcement agencies, all court clerks, all municipal justices where they have no clerks, all justice court judges and all persons in charge of state and county probation and parole offices, shall supply the center with the information described in subsections (4) and (10) of this section on the basis of the forms and instructions to be supplied by the center.

     (7)  All persons in charge of law enforcement agencies in this state shall furnish the center with any other identifying data required in accordance with guidelines established by the center.  All law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions in this state having criminal identification files shall cooperate in providing the center with copies of such items in such files which will aid in establishing the nucleus of the state criminal identification file.

     (8)  All law enforcement agencies within the state shall report to the center, in a manner prescribed by the center, all persons wanted by and all vehicles and identifiable property stolen from their jurisdictions.  The report shall be made as soon as is practical after the investigating department or agency either ascertains that a vehicle or identifiable property has been stolen or obtains a warrant for an individual's arrest or determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the individual has committed a crime. The report shall be made within a reasonable time period following the reporting department's or agency's determination that it has grounds to believe that a vehicle or property was stolen or that the wanted person should be arrested.

     (9)  All law enforcement agencies in the state shall immediately notify the center if at any time after making a report as required by subsection (8) of this section it is determined by the reporting department or agency that a person is no longer wanted or that a vehicle or property stolen has been recovered.  Furthermore, if the agency making such apprehension or recovery is not the one which made the original report, then it shall immediately notify the originating agency of the full particulars relating to such apprehension or recovery using methods prescribed by the center.

     (10)  All law enforcement agencies in the state and clerks of the various courts shall promptly report to the center all instances where records of convictions of criminals are ordered expunged by courts of this state as now provided by law.  The center shall promptly expunge from the files of the center and destroy all records pertaining to any convictions that are ordered expunged by the courts of this state as provided by law.

     (11)  The center shall not be held liable for the failure to purge, destroy or expunge records if an agency or court fails to forward to the center proper documentation ordering such action.

     SECTION 5.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.