Bill Text: MS HB1337 | 2019 | Regular Session | Engrossed


Bill Title: Youth Court Act; implement recommendations of supreme court commission on children's justice.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Failed) 2019-03-05 - Died In Committee [HB1337 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-HB1337-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2019 Regular Session

To: Judiciary B

By: Representatives Cockerham, Dixon, Sykes

House Bill 1337

(As Passed the House)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-105, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE STATUS OF FORENSIC INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED BY A CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-261, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE DISCLOSURE OF YOUTH COURT RECORDS TO A GUARDIAN AD LITEM DULY APPOINTED BY THE COURT, TO EXPAND DISCLOSURE FOR TRIAL PURPOSES, TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES TO SHARE CERTAIN RECORDS AND TO PROVIDE FOR WAIVER OF CONFIDENTIALITY IN CERTAIN CHILD DEATHS OR CRITICAL INJURIES OF CHILDREN; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-353, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE REPORTING OF CERTAIN FRAUDULENT ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-121, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIANS AD LITEM BY THE YOUTH COURT; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-301, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE GROUNDS FOR CUSTODY BASED ON PARENTAL USE OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND TO REQUIRE THAT ALL ORAL ORDERS BE REDUCED TO WRITING; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-203, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THAT ALL HEARINGS ON THE RECORD AND ORAL ORDERS BE REDUCED TO WRITING; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-613, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXPAND THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH A REVIEW HEARING IS REQUIRED; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-155, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR TRANSFER OF CASES; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-303, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE TAKING OF CUSTODY WITHOUT A WARRANT; TO AMEND SECTION 41-111-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE INVESTIGATORY AND REPORTING DUTIES OF THE CHILD DEATH REVIEW PANEL TO INCLUDE CHILD NEAR FATALITIES; TO CREATE NEW CODE SECTION 41-111-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO MANDATE REPORTING OF CHILD FATALITIES AND NEAR FATALITIES SO THAT TIMELY INVESTIGATIONS MAY BE CONDUCTED IN APPROPRIATE CASES IN ORDER TO DECREASE THE INCIDENCE OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT CAUSING FATAL OR SERIOUS INJURIES TO CHILDREN, AND TO PROMOTE THE SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THE CHILDREN OF THIS STATE; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-257, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE CENTRAL STATE REGISTRY ON NEGLECT AND ABUSE CASES; TO AMEND SECTION 93-17-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE DEFINITIONS IN THE ADOPTION SUPPLEMENTAL BENEFITS LAW; TO AMEND SECTION 93-17-67, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID BENEFITS POST-ADOPTION UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; TO AMEND SECTION 93-17-69, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY STATE SUPPORT FOR NONRECURRING ADOPTION EXPENSES; TO AMEND SECTION 93-31-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH BOTH PARENTS MUST EXECUTE A TEMPORARY POWER OF ATTORNEY TO BE EFFECTIVE UNDER THE ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 93-31-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THAT A REASON FOR THE EXECUTION OF THE POWER OF ATTORNEY BE STATED; TO REQUIRE AN AFFIDAVIT OF STATUTORY COMPLIANCE BY THE FACILITATING AGENCY; TO CONFORM THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT CLAUSE AND TO CREATE A STATUTORILY SUFFICIENT FORM FOR REVOCATION OF A POWER OF ATTORNEY GRANTED UNDER THE ACT; TO REQUIRE AN AFFIDAVIT FROM A CUSTODIAL PARENT WHO ALLEGES UNAVAILABILITY OF THE NONCUSTODIAL PARENT; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-321, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL SERVICES PROVIDED TO STUDENTS IN JUVENILE DETENTION CENTERS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 43-21-105, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-105.  The following words and phrases, for purposes of this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly otherwise requires:

          (a)  "Youth court" means the Youth Court Division.

          (b)  "Judge" means the judge of the Youth Court Division.

          (c)  "Designee" means any person that the judge appoints to perform a duty which this chapter requires to be done by the judge or his designee.  The judge may not appoint a person who is involved in law enforcement or who is an employee of the Mississippi Department of Human Services to be his designee.

          (d)  "Child" and "youth" are synonymous, and each means a person who has not reached his eighteenth birthday.  A child who has not reached his eighteenth birthday and is on active duty for a branch of the armed services or is married is not considered a "child" or "youth" for the purposes of this chapter.

          (e)  "Parent" means the father or mother to whom the child has been born, or the father or mother by whom the child has been legally adopted.

          (f)  "Guardian" means a court-appointed guardian of the person of a child.

          (g)  "Custodian" means any person having the present care or custody of a child whether such person be a parent or otherwise.

          (h)  "Legal custodian" means a court-appointed custodian of the child.

          (i)  "Delinquent child" means a child who has reached his tenth birthday and who has committed a delinquent act.

          (j)  "Delinquent act" is any act, which if committed by an adult, is designated as a crime under state or federal law, or municipal or county ordinance other than offenses punishable by life imprisonment or death.  A delinquent act includes escape from lawful detention and violations of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law and violent behavior.

          (k)  "Child in need of supervision" means a child who has reached his seventh birthday and is in need of treatment or rehabilitation because the child:

              (i)  Is habitually disobedient of reasonable and lawful commands of his parent, guardian or custodian and is ungovernable; or

              (ii)  While being required to attend school, willfully and habitually violates the rules thereof or willfully and habitually absents himself therefrom; or

              (iii)  Runs away from home without good cause; or

              (iv)  Has committed a delinquent act or acts.

          (l)  "Neglected child" means a child:

              (i)  Whose parent, guardian or custodian or any person responsible for his care or support, neglects or refuses, when able so to do, to provide for him proper and necessary care or support, or education as required by law, or medical, surgical, or other care necessary for his well-being; however, a parent who withholds medical treatment from any child who in good faith is under treatment by spiritual means alone through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall not, for that reason alone, be considered to be neglectful under any provision of this chapter; or

              (ii)  Who is otherwise without proper care, custody, supervision or support; or

              (iii)  Who, for any reason, lacks the special care made necessary for him by reason of his mental condition, whether the mental condition is having mental illness or having an intellectual disability; or

              (iv)  Who, for any reason, lacks the care necessary for his health, morals or well-being.

          (m)  "Abused child" means a child whose parent, guardian or custodian or any person responsible for his care or support, whether legally obligated to do so or not, has caused or allowed to be caused, upon the child, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional abuse, mental injury, nonaccidental physical injury or other maltreatment.  However, physical discipline, including spanking, performed on a child by a parent, guardian or custodian in a reasonable manner shall not be deemed abuse under this section.  "Abused child" also means a child who is or has been trafficked within the meaning of the Mississippi Human Trafficking Act by any person, without regard to the relationship of the person to the child.

          (n)  "Sexual abuse" means obscene or pornographic photographing, filming or depiction of children for commercial purposes, or the rape, molestation, incest, prostitution or other such forms of sexual exploitation of children under circumstances which indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or threatened.

          (o)  "A child in need of special care" means a child with any mental or physical illness that cannot be treated with the dispositional alternatives ordinarily available to the youth court.

          (p)  A "dependent child" means any child who is not a child in need of supervision, a delinquent child, an abused child or a neglected child, and which child has been voluntarily placed in the custody of the Department of Human Services by his parent, guardian or custodian.

          (q)  "Custody" means the physical possession of the child by any person.

          (r)  "Legal custody" means the legal status created by a court order which gives the legal custodian the responsibilities of physical possession of the child and the duty to provide him with food, shelter, education and reasonable medical care, all subject to residual rights and responsibilities of the parent or guardian of the person.

          (s)  "Detention" means the care of children in physically restrictive facilities.

          (t)  "Shelter" means care of children in physically nonrestrictive facilities.

          (u)  "Records involving children" means any of the following from which the child can be identified:

              (i)  All youth court records as defined in Section 43-21-251;

              (ii)  All * * * social records as defined in Section 43‑21‑253 forensic interviews conducted by a child advocacy center in abuse and neglect investigations;

              (iii)  All law enforcement records as defined in Section 43-21-255;

              (iv)  All agency records as defined in Section 43-21-257; and

              (v)  All other documents maintained by any representative of the state, county, municipality or other public agency insofar as they relate to the apprehension, custody, adjudication or disposition of a child who is the subject of a youth court cause.

          (v)  "Any person responsible for care or support" means the person who is providing for the child at a given time.  This term shall include, but is not limited to, stepparents, foster parents, relatives, nonlicensed babysitters or other similar persons responsible for a child and staff of residential care facilities and group homes that are licensed by the Department of Human Services.

          (w)  The singular includes the plural, the plural the singular and the masculine the feminine when consistent with the intent of this chapter.

          (x)  "Out-of-home" setting means the temporary supervision or care of children by the staff of licensed day care centers, the staff of public, private and state schools, the staff of juvenile detention facilities, the staff of unlicensed residential care facilities and group homes and the staff of, or individuals representing, churches, civic or social organizations.

          (y)  "Durable legal custody" means the legal status created by a court order which gives the durable legal custodian the responsibilities of physical possession of the child and the duty to provide him with care, nurture, welfare, food, shelter, education and reasonable medical care.  All these duties as enumerated are subject to the residual rights and responsibilities of the natural parent(s) or guardian(s) of the child or children.

          (z)  "Status offense" means conduct subject to adjudication by the youth court that would not be a crime if committed by an adult.

          (aa)  "Financially able" means a parent or child who is ineligible for a court-appointed attorney.

          (bb)  "Assessment" means an individualized examination of a child to determine the child's psychosocial needs and problems, including the type and extent of any mental health, substance abuse or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders and recommendations for treatment.  The term includes, but is not limited to, a drug and alcohol, psychological or psychiatric evaluation, records review, clinical interview or the administration of a formal test and instrument.

          (cc)  "Screening" means a process, with or without the administration of a formal instrument, that is designed to identify a child who is at increased risk of having mental health, substance abuse or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders that warrant immediate attention, intervention or more comprehensive assessment.

          (dd)  "Durable legal relative guardianship" means the legal status created by a youth court order that conveys the physical and legal custody of a child or children by durable legal guardianship to a relative or fictive kin who is licensed as a foster or resource parent.

          (ee)  "Relative" means a person related to the child by affinity or consanguinity within the third degree.

          (ff)  "Fictive kin" means a person not related to the child legally or biologically but who is considered a relative due to a significant, familial-like and ongoing relationship with the child and family.

          (gg)  "Reasonable efforts" means the exercise of reasonable care and due diligence by the Department of Human Services, the Department of Child Protection Services, or any other appropriate entity or person to use appropriate and available services to prevent the unnecessary removal of the child from the home or provide other services related to meeting the needs of the child and the parents.

     SECTION 2.  Section 43-21-261, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-261.  (1)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, records involving children shall not be disclosed, other than to necessary staff or officials of the youth court, a guardian ad litem appointed to a child by the court, or a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer that may be assigned in an abuse and neglect case, except pursuant to an order of the youth court specifying the person or persons to whom the records may be disclosed, the extent of the records which may be disclosed and the purpose of the disclosure.  Such court orders for disclosure shall be limited to those instances in which the youth court concludes, in its discretion, that disclosure is required for the best interests of the child, the public safety or the functioning of the youth court and then only to the following persons:

          (a)  The judge of another youth court or member of another youth court staff;

          (b)  The court of the parties in a child custody or adoption cause in another court;

          (c)  A judge of any other court or members of another court staff;

          (d)  Representatives of a public or private agency providing supervision or having custody of the child under order of the youth court;

          (e)  Any person engaged in a bona fide research purpose, provided that no information identifying the subject of the records shall be made available to the researcher unless it is absolutely essential to the research purpose and the judge gives prior written approval, and the child, through his or her representative, gives permission to release the information;

          (f)  The Mississippi Department of Employment Security, or its duly authorized representatives, for the purpose of a child's enrollment into the Job Corps Training Program as authorized by Title IV of the Comprehensive Employment Training Act of 1973 (29 USCS Section 923 et seq.).  However, no records, reports, investigations or information derived therefrom pertaining to child abuse or neglect shall be disclosed;

          (g)  To any person pursuant to a finding by a judge of the youth court of compelling circumstances affecting the health, safety or well-being of a child and that such disclosure is in the best interests of the child or an adult who was formerly the subject of a youth court delinquency proceeding.

     Law enforcement agencies may disclose information to the public concerning the taking of a child into custody for the commission of a delinquent act without the necessity of an order from the youth court.  The information released shall not identify the child or his address unless the information involves a child convicted as an adult.

     (2)  Any records involving children which are disclosed under an order of the youth court or pursuant to the terms of this section and the contents thereof shall be kept confidential by the person or agency to whom the record is disclosed unless otherwise provided in the order.  Any further disclosure of any records involving children shall be made only under an order of the youth court as provided in this section.

     (3)  Upon request, the parent, guardian or custodian of the child who is the subject of a youth court cause or any attorney for such parent, guardian or custodian, shall have the right to inspect any record, report or investigation * * *which is to be considered by the youth court at a hearing relevant to a matter to be heard by a youth court, except that the identity of the reporter shall not be released, nor the name of any other person where the person or agency making the information available finds that disclosure of the information would be likely to endanger the life or safety of such person.  The attorney for the parent, guardian or custodian of the child, upon request, shall be provided a copy of any record, report or investigation, that is * * * to be considered by the youth court at a hearing relevant to a matter to be heard by a youth court, but the identity of the reporter must be redacted and the name of any other person must also be redacted if the person or agency making the information available finds that disclosure of the information would be likely to endanger the life, safety or well-being of the person.  A record provided to the attorney under this section, must remain in the attorney's control and the attorney may not provide copies or access to another person or entity without prior consent of a court with appropriate jurisdiction.

     (4)  Upon request, the child who is the subject of a youth court cause shall have the right to have his counsel inspect and copy any record, report or investigation which is filed with the youth court or which is to be considered by the youth court at a hearing.

     (5)  (a)  The youth court prosecutor or prosecutors, the county attorney, the district attorney, the youth court defender or defenders, or any attorney representing a child shall have the right to inspect and copy any law enforcement record involving children.

          (b)  The Department of Human Services shall disclose to a county prosecuting attorney or district attorney any and all records resulting from an investigation into suspected child abuse or neglect when the case has been referred by the Department of Human Services to the county prosecuting attorney or district attorney for criminal prosecution.

          (c)  Agency records made confidential under the provisions of this section may be disclosed to a court of competent jurisdiction.

          (d)  Records involving children shall be disclosed to the Division of Victim Compensation of the Office of the Attorney General upon the division's request without order of the youth court for purposes of determination of eligibility for victim compensation benefits.

     (6)  Information concerning an investigation into a report of child abuse or child neglect may be disclosed by the Department of Human Services without order of the youth court to any attorney, physician, dentist, intern, resident, nurse, psychologist, social worker, family protection worker, family protection specialist, child caregiver, minister, law enforcement officer, public or private school employee making that report pursuant to Section 43-21-353(1) if the reporter has a continuing professional relationship with the child and a need for such information in order to protect or treat the child.

     (7)  Information concerning an investigation into a report of child abuse or child neglect may be disclosed without further order of the youth court to any interagency child abuse task force established in any county or municipality by order of the youth court of that county or municipality.

     (8)  Names and addresses of juveniles twice adjudicated as delinquent for an act which would be a felony if committed by an adult or for the unlawful possession of a firearm shall not be held confidential and shall be made available to the public.

     (9)  Names and addresses of juveniles adjudicated as delinquent for murder, manslaughter, burglary, arson, armed robbery, aggravated assault, any sex offense as defined in Section 45-33-23, for any violation of Section 41-29-139(a)(1) or for any violation of Section 63-11-30, shall not be held confidential and shall be made available to the public.

     (10)  The judges of the circuit and county courts, and presentence investigators for the circuit courts, as provided in Section 47-7-9, shall have the right to inspect any youth court records of a person convicted of a crime for sentencing purposes only.

     (11)  The victim of an offense committed by a child who is the subject of a youth court cause shall have the right to be informed of the child's disposition by the youth court.

     (12)  A classification hearing officer of the State Department of Corrections, as provided in Section 47-5-103, shall have the right to inspect any youth court records, excluding abuse and neglect records, of any offender in the custody of the department who as a child or minor was a juvenile offender or was the subject of a youth court cause of action, and the State Parole Board, as provided in Section 47-7-17, shall have the right to inspect such records when the offender becomes eligible for parole.

     (13)  The youth court shall notify the Department of Public Safety of the name, and any other identifying information such department may require, of any child who is adjudicated delinquent as a result of a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law.

     (14)  The Administrative Office of Courts shall have the right to inspect any youth court records in order that the number of youthful offenders, abused, neglected, truant and dependent children, as well as children in need of special care and children in need of supervision, may be tracked with specificity through the youth court and adult justice system, and to utilize tracking forms for such purpose.

     (15)  Upon a request by a youth court, the Administrative Office of Courts shall disclose all information at its disposal concerning any previous youth court intakes alleging that a child was a delinquent child, child in need of supervision, child in need of special care, truant child, abused child or neglected child, as well as any previous youth court adjudications for the same and all dispositional information concerning a child who at the time of such request comes under the jurisdiction of the youth court making such request.

     (16)  The Administrative Office of Courts may, in its discretion, disclose to the Department of Public Safety any or all of the information involving children contained in the office's youth court data management system known as Mississippi Youth Court Information Delivery System or "MYCIDS."

     (17)  The youth courts of the state shall disclose to the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) any youth court records in order that the number of youthful offenders, abused, neglected, truant and dependent children, as well as children in need of special care and children in need of supervision, may be tracked with specificity through the youth court and adult justice system, and to utilize tracking forms for such purpose.  The disclosure prescribed in this subsection shall not require a court order and shall be made in sortable, electronic format where possible.  The PEER Committee may seek the assistance of the Administrative Office of Courts in seeking this information.  The PEER Committee shall not disclose the identities of any youth who have been adjudicated in the youth courts of the state and shall only use the disclosed information for the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of programs established to assist adjudicated youth, and to ascertain the incidence of adjudicated youth who become adult offenders.

     (18)  In every case where an abuse or neglect allegation has been made, the confidentiality provisions of this section shall not apply to prohibit access to a child's records by any state regulatory agency, any state or local prosecutorial agency or law enforcement agency; however, no identifying information concerning the child in question may be released to the public by such agency except as otherwise provided herein.

     (19)  In every case * * * where there is any indication or suggestion of either of child abuse or neglect and a child's physical condition is medically labeled as medically "serious" or "critical" or a child dies, the confidentiality provisions of this section shall not apply.  In such cases * * * of child deaths, the following information may be released by the Mississippi Department of * * *Human Child Protection Services: * * * name; (b) address or location; (c) verification from the Department of Human Services of case status (no case or involvement, case exists, open or active case, case closed); (d) if a case exists, the type of report or case (physical abuse, neglect, etc.), date of intake(s) and investigation(s), and case disposition (substantiated or unsubstantiated).  Notwithstanding the aforesaid, the confidentiality provisions of this section shall continue if there is a pending or planned investigation by any local, state or federal governmental agency or institution the cause of the circumstances regarding the fatality or medically serious or critical physical condition; the age and gender of the child; information describing any previous reports of child abuse or neglect investigations that are pertinent to the child abuse or neglect that led to the fatality or medically serious or critical physical condition; the result of any such investigations; and the services provided by and actions of the state on behalf of the child that are pertinent to the child abuse or neglect that led to the fatality or medically serious or critical physical condition.

     (20)  Any member of a foster care review board designated by the Department of Human Services shall have the right to inspect youth court records relating to the abuse, neglect or child in need of supervision cases assigned to such member for review.

     (21)  Information concerning an investigation into a report of child abuse or child neglect may be disclosed without further order of the youth court in any administrative or due process hearing held, pursuant to Section 43-21-257, by the Department of Human Services for individuals whose names will be placed on the central registry as substantiated perpetrators.

     (22)  The Department of Child Protection Services may disclose records involving children to the following:

          (a)  A foster home, residential child-caring agency or child-placing agency to the extent necessary to provide such care and services to a child;

          (b)  An individual, agency or organization that provides services to a child or the child's family in furtherance of the child's permanency plan to the extent necessary in providing those services;

          (c)  Health and mental health care providers of a child to the extent necessary for the provider to properly treat and care for the child;

          (d)  An educational institution or educational services provider where the child is enrolled or where enrollment is anticipated to the extent necessary for the school to provide appropriate services to the child; and

          (e)  Any other state agency if the disclosure is necessary to the department in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities in protecting the best interests of the child.

     SECTION 3.  Section 43-21-353, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-353.  (1)  Any attorney, physician, dentist, intern, resident, nurse, psychologist, social worker, family protection worker, family protection specialist, child caregiver, minister, law enforcement officer, public or private school employee or any other person having reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a neglected child or an abused child, shall cause an oral report to be made immediately by telephone or otherwise and followed as soon thereafter as possible by a report in writing to the Department of Human Services, and immediately a referral shall be made by the Department of Human Services to the youth court intake unit, which unit shall promptly comply with Section 43-21-357.  In the course of an investigation, at the initial time of contact with the individual(s) about whom a report has been made under this Youth Court Act or with the individual(s) responsible for the health or welfare of a child about whom a report has been made under this chapter, the Department of Human Services shall inform the individual of the specific complaints or allegations made against the individual.  Consistent with subsection (4), the identity of the person who reported his or her suspicion shall not be disclosed.  Where appropriate, the Department of Human Services shall additionally make a referral to the youth court prosecutor.

     Upon receiving a report that a child has been sexually abused, or burned, tortured, mutilated or otherwise physically abused in such a manner as to cause serious bodily harm, or upon receiving any report of abuse that would be a felony under state or federal law, the Department of Human Services shall immediately notify the law enforcement agency in whose jurisdiction the abuse occurred and shall notify the appropriate prosecutor within forty-eight (48) hours, and the Department of Human Services shall have the duty to provide the law enforcement agency all the names and facts known at the time of the report; this duty shall be of a continuing nature.  The law enforcement agency and the Department of Human Services shall investigate the reported abuse immediately and shall file a preliminary report with the appropriate prosecutor's office within twenty-four (24) hours and shall make additional reports as new or additional information or evidence becomes available.  The Department of Human Services shall advise the clerk of the youth court and the youth court prosecutor of all cases of abuse reported to the department within seventy-two (72) hours and shall update such report as information becomes available.

     (2)  Any report to the Department of Human Services shall contain the names and addresses of the child and his parents or other persons responsible for his care, if known, the child's age, the nature and extent of the child's injuries, including any evidence of previous injuries * * * and, any other information that might be helpful in establishing the cause of the injury, and the identity of the perpetrator.

     (3)  The Department of Human Services shall maintain a statewide incoming wide-area telephone service or similar service for the purpose of receiving reports of suspected cases of child abuse; provided that any attorney, physician, dentist, intern, resident, nurse, psychologist, social worker, family protection worker, family protection specialist, child caregiver, minister, law enforcement officer or public or private school employee who is required to report under subsection (1) of this section shall report in the manner required in subsection (1).

     (4)  Reports of abuse and neglect made under this chapter and the identity of the reporter are confidential except when the court in which the investigation report is filed, in its discretion, determines the testimony of the person reporting to be material to a judicial proceeding or when the identity of the reporter is released to law enforcement agencies and the appropriate prosecutor pursuant to subsection (1).  Reports made under this section to any law enforcement agency or prosecutorial officer are for the purpose of criminal investigation and prosecution only and no information from these reports may be released to the public except as provided by Section 43-21-261.  Disclosure of any information by the prosecutor shall be according to the Mississippi Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court Procedure.  The identity of the reporting party shall not be disclosed to anyone other than law enforcement officers or prosecutors without an order from the appropriate youth court.  Any person disclosing any reports made under this section in a manner not expressly provided for in this section or Section 43-21-261 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to the penalties prescribed by Section 43-21-267.  Notwithstanding the confidentiality of the reporter's identity under this section, the Department of Child Protection Services may disclose a reporter's identity to the appropriate law enforcement agency or prosecutor if the department has reason to suspect the reporter has made a fraudulent report, and Child Protective Services must provide to the subject of the alleged fraudulent report written notification of the disclosure.

     (5)  All final dispositions of law enforcement investigations described in subsection (1) of this section shall be determined only by the appropriate prosecutor or court.  All final dispositions of investigations by the Department of Human Services as described in subsection (1) of this section shall be determined only by the youth court.  Reports made under subsection (1) of this section by the Department of Human Services to the law enforcement agency and to the district attorney's office shall include the following, if known to the department:

          (a)  The name and address of the child;

          (b)  The names and addresses of the parents;

          (c)  The name and address of the suspected perpetrator;

          (d)  The names and addresses of all witnesses, including the reporting party if a material witness to the abuse;

          (e)  A brief statement of the facts indicating that the child has been abused and any other information from the agency files or known to the family protection worker or family protection specialist making the investigation, including medical records or other records, which may assist law enforcement or the district attorney in investigating and/or prosecuting the case; and

          (f)  What, if any, action is being taken by the Department of Human Services.

     (6)  In any investigation of a report made under this chapter of the abuse or neglect of a child as defined in Section 43-21-105(m), the Department of Human Services may request the appropriate law enforcement officer with jurisdiction to accompany the department in its investigation, and in such cases the law enforcement officer shall comply with such request.

     (7)  Anyone who willfully violates any provision of this section shall be, upon being found guilty, punished by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by imprisonment in jail not to exceed one (1) year, or both.

     (8)  If a report is made directly to the Department of Human Services that a child has been abused or neglected in an out-of-home setting, a referral shall be made immediately to the law enforcement agency in whose jurisdiction the abuse occurred and the department shall notify the district attorney's office within forty-eight (48) hours of such report.  The Department of Human Services shall investigate the out-of-home setting report of abuse or neglect to determine whether the child who is the subject of the report, or other children in the same environment, comes within the jurisdiction of the youth court and shall report to the youth court the department's findings and recommendation as to whether the child who is the subject of the report or other children in the same environment require the protection of the youth court.  The law enforcement agency shall investigate the reported abuse immediately and shall file a preliminary report with the district attorney's office within forty-eight (48) hours and shall make additional reports as new information or evidence becomes available.  If the out-of-home setting is a licensed facility, an additional referral shall be made by the Department of Human Services to the licensing agency.  The licensing agency shall investigate the report and shall provide the Department of Human Services, the law enforcement agency and the district attorney's office with their written findings from such investigation as well as that licensing agency's recommendations and actions taken.

     (9)  If a child protective investigation does not result in an out-of-home placement, a child protective investigator must provide information to the parent or guardians about community service programs that provide respite care, voluntary guardianship or other support services for families in crisis.

     SECTION 4.  Section 43-21-121, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-121.  (1)  The youth court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the child:

          (a)  When a child has no parent, guardian or custodian;

          (b)  When the youth court cannot acquire personal jurisdiction over a parent, a guardian or a custodian;

          (c)  When the parent is a minor or a person of unsound mind;

          (d)  When the parent is indifferent to the interest of the child or if the interests of the child and the parent, considered in the context of the cause, appear to conflict;

          (e)  In every case involving an abused or neglected child which results in a judicial proceeding; or

          (f)  In any other instance where the youth court finds appointment of a guardian ad litem to be in the best interest of the child.

     (2)  The guardian ad litem shall be appointed by the court when custody is ordered or at the first judicial hearing regarding the case, whichever occurs first.

     (3)  In addition to all other duties required by law, a guardian ad litem shall have the duty to protect the interest of a child for whom he has been appointed guardian ad litem.  The guardian ad litem shall investigate, make recommendations to the court or enter reports as necessary to hold paramount the child's best interest.  The guardian ad litem is not an adversary party and the court shall insure that guardians ad litem perform their duties properly and in the best interest of their wards.  The guardian ad litem shall be a competent person who has no adverse interest to the minor.  The court shall insure that the guardian ad litem is adequately instructed on the proper performance of his duties.

     (4)  The court, including a county court serving as a youth court, may appoint either a suitable attorney or a suitable layman as guardian ad litem.  In cases where the court appoints a layman as guardian ad litem, the court shall also appoint an attorney to represent the child.  From and after January 1, 1999, in order to be eligible for an appointment as a guardian ad litem, such attorney or layperson must have received child protection and juvenile justice training provided by or approved by the Mississippi Judicial College within the year immediately preceding such appointment.  The Mississippi Judicial College shall determine the amount of child protection and juvenile justice training which shall be satisfactory to fulfill the requirements of this section.  The Administrative Office of Courts shall maintain a roll of all attorneys and laymen eligible to be appointed as a guardian ad litem under this section and shall enforce the provisions of this subsection.

     (5)  Upon appointment of a guardian ad litem, the youth court shall continue any pending proceedings for a reasonable time to allow the guardian ad litem to familiarize himself with the matter, consult with counsel and prepare his participation in the cause.  The youth court shall issue an order of assignment that grants the guardian ad litem authority to review all relevant documents concerning the minor child and to interview all parties and witnesses involved in proceedings concerning the minor child for whom the guardian ad litem is appointed.

     (6)  Upon order of the youth court, the guardian ad litem shall be paid a reasonable fee as determined by the youth court judge or referee out of the county general fund as provided under Section 43-21-123.  To be eligible for such fee, the guardian ad litem shall submit an accounting of the time spent in performance of his duties to the court.

     (7)  (a)  The court, in its sound discretion, may appoint a volunteer trained layperson to assist children subject to the provisions of this section in addition to the appointment of a guardian ad litem.  If the court utilizes his or her discretion as prescribed under this subsection, a volunteer Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) shall be appointed from a program that supervises the volunteer and meets all state and national CASA standards to advocate for the best interests of children in abuse and neglect proceedings.  To accomplish the assignment of a CASA volunteer, the court shall issue an order of assignment that shall grant the CASA volunteer the authority, equal to that of the guardian ad litem, to review all relevant documents and to interview all parties and witnesses involved in the proceeding in which he or she is appointed.  Except as otherwise ordered by the court, the assignment of a CASA volunteer for a child shall include subsequent proceedings through permanent placement of the child.

          (b)  Before assigning a CASA volunteer as prescribed under this subsection, the youth court judge shall determine if the volunteer has sufficient qualifications, training and ability to serve as a CASA volunteer, including his or her ability to represent and advocate for the best interests of children assigned to him or her.  No volunteer shall be assigned until a comprehensive criminal background check has been conducted.

     All CASA volunteers shall:

              (i)  Be sworn in by a judge of the court;

              (ii)  Swear or affirm to abide by all laws, regulations, and orders of the court;

              (iii)  Swear or affirm to advocate what he or she perceives to be in the best interests of the child for whom he or she is assigned in all matters pending before the court;

              (iv)  Provide independent, factual information to the court regarding the children and cases to which they are assigned;

              (v)  Advocate on behalf of the children involved in the cases to which they are assigned what they perceive to be in the best interests of the children; and

              (vi)  Monitor proceedings in cases to which they have been assigned and advise and assist the court in its determination of the best interests of the children involved.

          (c)  Regarding any case to which a CASA volunteer has been assigned, the CASA volunteer:

              (i)  Shall be notified by the court of all court proceedings and hearings of any kind pertaining to the child;

              (ii)  Shall be notified by the Department of Human Services of all administrative review hearings;

              (iii)  Shall be entitled to attend all court proceedings and hearings of any kind pertaining to the child;

              (iv)  May be called as a witness in the proceedings by any party or by the court and may request of the court the opportunity to appear as a witness; and

              (v)  Shall be given access to all portions of the court record relating to proceedings pertaining to the child and the child's family.

          (d)  Upon application to the court and notice to all parties, the court shall grant the CASA volunteer access to other information, including the department records as provided in Section 43-21-261, relating to the child and the child's family and to other matters involved in the proceeding in which he or she is appointed.  All records and information requested or reviewed by the CASA volunteer in the course of his or her assignment shall be deemed confidential and shall not be disclosed by him except pursuant to court order.  All records and information shall only be disclosed as directed by court order and shall be disclosed as directed by court order and shall be subject to whatever protective order the court deems appropriate.

     SECTION 5.  Section 43-21-301, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-301.  (1)  No court other than the youth court shall issue an arrest warrant or custody order for a child in a matter in which the youth court has exclusive original jurisdiction but shall refer the matter to the youth court.

     (2)  Except as otherwise provided, no child in a matter in which the youth court has exclusive original jurisdiction shall be taken into custody by a law enforcement officer, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Child Protection Services, or any other person unless the judge or his designee has issued a custody order to take the child into custody.

     (3)  The judge or his designee may require a law enforcement officer, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Child Protection Services, or any suitable person to take a child into custody for a period not longer than forty-eight (48) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and statutory state holidays.

          (a)  Custody orders under this subsection may be issued if it appears that there is probable cause to believe that:

              (i)  The child is within the jurisdiction of the court;

              (ii)  Custody is necessary because of any of the following reasons:  the child is endangered, any person would be endangered by the child, to ensure the child's attendance in court at such time as required, or a parent, guardian or custodian is not available to provide for the care and supervision of the child; and

              (iii)  There is no reasonable alternative to custody.

     A finding of probable cause * * *, as prescribed under this * * *paragraph, subsection (3)(a) shall not be based solely upon a positive drug test of a child's parent for marijuana; however, a finding of probable cause may be based upon an evidence-based finding of harm to the child or a parent's inability to provide for the care and supervision of the child due to the parent's use of marijuana.  Probable cause may be based upon a parent's positive drug test for unlawful use of a controlled substance other than marijuana only if the child is endangered or the parent is unable to provide proper care and supervision of the child because of the unlawful use and there is no reasonable alternative to custody.

          (b)  Custody orders under this subsection shall be written.  In emergency cases, a judge or his designee may issue an oral custody order, but the order shall be reduced to writing within forty-eight (48) hours of its issuance.

          (c)  Each youth court judge shall develop and make available to law enforcement a list of designees who are available after hours, on weekends and on holidays.

     (4)  The judge or his designee may order, orally or in writing, the immediate release of any child in the custody of any person or agency.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, custody orders as provided by this chapter and authorizations of temporary custody may be written or oral, but, if oral, reduced to writing * * * as soon as practicable within forty-eight (48) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and statutory state holidays.  The written order shall:

          (a)  Specify the name and address of the child, or, if unknown, designate him or her by any name or description by which he or she can be identified with reasonable certainty;

          (b)  Specify the age of the child, or, if unknown, that he or she is believed to be of an age subject to the jurisdiction of the youth court;

          (c)  Except in cases where the child is alleged to be a delinquent child or a child in need of supervision, state that the effect of the continuation of the child's residing within his or her own home would be contrary to the welfare of the child, that the placement of the child in foster care is in the best interests of the child, and unless the reasonable efforts requirement is bypassed under Section 43-21-603(7)(c), also state that (i) reasonable efforts have been made to maintain the child within his or her own home, but that the circumstances warrant his removal and there is no reasonable alternative to custody; or (ii) the circumstances are of such an emergency nature that no reasonable efforts have been made to maintain the child within his own home, and that there is no reasonable alternative to custody.  If the court makes a finding in accordance with (ii) of this paragraph, the court shall order that reasonable efforts be made towards the reunification of the child with his or her family;

          (d)  State that the child shall be brought immediately before the youth court or be taken to a place designated by the order to be held pending review of the order;

          (e)  State the date issued and the youth court by which the order is issued; and

          (f)  Be signed by the judge or his designee with the title of his office.

     (5)  The taking of a child into custody shall not be considered an arrest except for evidentiary purposes.

     (6)  (a)  No child who has been accused or adjudicated of any offense that would not be a crime if committed by an adult shall be placed in an adult jail or lockup.  An accused status offender shall not be held in secure detention longer than twenty-four (24) hours prior to and twenty-four (24) hours after an initial court appearance, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and statutory state holidays, except under the following circumstances:  a status offender may be held in secure detention for violating a valid court order pursuant to the criteria as established by the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002, and any subsequent amendments thereto, and out-of-state runaways may be detained pending return to their home state.

          (b)  No accused or adjudicated juvenile offender, except for an accused or adjudicated juvenile offender in cases where jurisdiction is waived to the adult criminal court, shall be detained or placed into custody of any adult jail or lockup for a period in excess of six (6) hours.

          (c)  If any county violates the provisions of paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection, the state agency authorized to allocate federal funds received pursuant to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, 88 Stat. 2750 (codified in scattered Sections of 5, 18, 42 USCS), shall withhold the county's share of such funds.

          (d)  Any county that does not have a facility in which to detain its juvenile offenders in compliance with the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection may enter into a contractual agreement to detain or place into custody the juvenile offenders of that county with any county or municipality that does have such a facility, or with the State of Mississippi, or with any private entity that maintains a juvenile correctional facility.

          (e)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) of this subsection, all counties shall be allowed a one-year grace period from March 27, 1993, to comply with the provisions of this subsection.

     SECTION 6.  Section 43-21-203, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-203.  (1)  The youth court shall be in session at all times. 

     (2)  All cases involving children shall be heard at any place the judge deems suitable but separately from the trial of cases involving adults. 

     (3)  Hearings in all cases involving children shall be conducted without a jury and may be recessed from time to time. 

     (4)  All hearings shall be conducted under such rules of evidence and rules of court as may comply with applicable constitutional standards.

     (5)  No proceeding by the youth court in cases involving children shall be a criminal proceeding but shall be entirely of a civil nature.

     (6)  The general public shall be excluded from the hearing, and only those persons shall be admitted who are found by the youth court to have a direct interest in the cause or work of the youth court.  Any person found by the youth court to have a direct interest in the cause shall have the right to appear and be represented by legal counsel.

     (7)  In all hearings, * * * except detention and shelter hearings under Section 43‑21‑309, a complete record of all evidence shall be taken by stenographic reporting, by mechanical or electronic device or by some combination thereof.

     (8)  The youth court may exclude the attendance of a child from a hearing in neglect and abuse cases with consent of the child's counsel.  The youth court may exclude the attendance of a child from any portion of a disposition hearing that would be injurious to the best interest of the child in delinquency and children in need of supervision cases with consent of the child's counsel.

     (9)  All parties to a youth court cause shall have the right at any hearing in which an investigation, record or report is admitted in evidence:

          (a)  To subpoena, confront and examine the person who prepared or furnished data for the report; and

          (b)  To introduce evidence controverting the contents of the report.

     (10)  Except as provided by Section 43-21-561(5) or as otherwise provided by this chapter, the disposition of a child's cause or any evidence given in the youth court in any proceedings concerning the child shall not be admissible against the child in any case or proceeding in any court other than a youth court.

     (11)  An order or ruling of the youth court judge delivered orally must be reduced to writing within forty-eight (48) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and statutory state holidays.

     SECTION 7.  Section 43-21-613, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-613.  (1)  If the youth court finds, after a hearing which complies with the sections governing adjudicatory hearings, that the terms of a delinquency or child in need of supervision disposition order, probation or parole have been violated, the youth court may, in its discretion, revoke the original disposition and make any disposition which it could have originally ordered.  The hearing shall be initiated by the filing of a petition that complies with the sections governing petitions in this chapter and that includes a statement of the youth court's original disposition order, probation or parole, the alleged violation of that order, probation or parole, and the facts which show the violation of that order, probation or parole.  Summons shall be served in the same manner as summons for an adjudicatory hearing.

     (2)  On motion of a child or a child's parent, guardian or custodian, the youth court may, in its discretion, conduct an informal hearing to review the disposition order.  If the youth court finds a material change of circumstances relating to the disposition of the child, the youth court may modify the disposition order to any appropriate disposition of equal or greater precedence which the youth court could have originally ordered.

     (3)  (a)  Unless the youth court's jurisdiction has been terminated, all disposition orders for supervision, probation or placement of a child with an individual or an agency shall be reviewed by the youth court judge or referee at least annually to determine if continued placement, probation or supervision is in the best interest of the child or the public.  For children who have been adjudicated abused or neglected, the youth court shall conduct a permanency hearing within twelve (12) months after the earlier of:

              (i)  An adjudication that the child has been abused or neglected; or

              (ii)  The date of the child's removal from the allegedly abusive or neglectful custodian/parent.  Notice of such hearing shall be given in accordance with the provisions of Section 43-21-505(5).  In conducting the hearing, the judge or referee shall require a written report and may require information or statements from the child's youth court counselor, parent, guardian or custodian, which includes, but is not limited to, an evaluation of the child's progress and recommendations for further supervision or treatment.  The judge or referee shall, at the permanency hearing determine the future status of the child, including, but not limited to, whether the child should be returned to the parent(s) or placed with suitable relatives, placed for adoption, placed for the purpose of establishing durable legal custody or should, because of the child's special needs or circumstances, be continued in foster care on a permanent or long-term basis.  If the child is in an out-of-state placement, the hearing shall determine whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interest of the child.  At the permanency hearing the judge or referee shall determine, and the youth court order shall recite that reasonable efforts were made by the Department of Human Services to finalize the child's permanency plan that was in effect on the date of the permanency hearing.  The judge or referee may find that reasonable efforts to maintain the child within his home shall not be required in accordance with Section 43-21-603(7)(c), and that the youth court shall continue to conduct permanency hearings for a child who has been adjudicated abused or neglected, at least annually thereafter, for as long as the child remains in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

          (b)  The court may find that the filing of a termination of parental rights petition is not in the child's best interest if:

              (i)  The child is being cared for by a relative; and/or

              (ii)  The Department of Human Services has documented compelling and extraordinary reasons why termination of parental rights would not be in the best interests of the child.

          (c)  The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to review of cases involving a dependent child; however, such reviews shall take place not less frequently than once each one hundred eighty (180) days, or upon the request of the child's attorney, a parent's attorney, or a parent as deemed appropriate by the youth court in protecting the best interests of the child.  A dependent child shall be ordered by the youth court judge or referee to be returned to the custody and home of the child's parent, guardian or custodian unless the judge or referee, upon such review, makes a written finding that the return of the child to the home would be contrary to the child's best interests.

          (d)  Reviews are not to be conducted unless explicitly ordered by the youth court concerning those cases in which the court has granted durable legal custody.  In such cases, the Department of Human Services shall be released from any oversight or monitoring responsibilities, and relieved of physical and legal custody and supervision of the child.

     (4)  The provisions of this section do not apply to proceedings concerning durable legal relative guardianship.

     SECTION 8.  Section 43-21-155, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-155.  (1)  If a child is alleged to be a delinquent child or a child in need of supervision, the proceedings shall be commenced in any county where any of the alleged acts are said to have occurred.  After adjudication, the youth court may, in the best interest of the child, transfer the case at any stage of the proceeding for disposition to the county where the child resides or to a county where a youth court has previously acquired jurisdiction.

     (2)  If a child is alleged to be an abused or neglected child, the proceedings shall be commenced in the county where the child's custodian resides or in the county where the child is present when the report is made to the intake unit.  After adjudication the youth court may transfer the case at any stage of the proceeding for disposition to the county where the child resides or to a county where a youth court has previously acquired jurisdiction if that is in the best interest of the child.

     SECTION 9.  Section 43-21-303, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-303.  (1)  No child in a matter in which the youth court has original exclusive jurisdiction shall be taken in custody by any person without a custody order except that:

          (a)  A law enforcement officer may take a child in custody if:

              (i)  Grounds exist for the arrest of an adult in identical circumstances; and

              (ii)  Such law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that custody is necessary as defined in Section 43-21-301(3)(b); and

              (iii)  Such law enforcement officer can find no reasonable alternative to custody; or

          (b)  A law enforcement officer or an agent of the Department of * * *public welfare Child Protection Services or the Department of Human Services may take a child into immediate custody if:

              (i)  There is probable cause to believe that the child is in immediate danger of personal harm; however, probable cause shall not be based solely upon a positive drug test of a child's parent for marijuana, but a finding of probable cause may be based upon an evidence-based finding of harm to the child or a parent's inability to provide for the care and supervision of the child due to the parent's use of marijuana.  Probable cause may be based upon a parent's positive drug test for unlawful use of a controlled substance other than marijuana only if the child is endangered or the parent is unable to provide proper care and supervision of the child because of the unlawful use and there is no reasonable alternative to custody; and

              (ii) * * *Such law enforcement officer or agent has probable cause to believe that immediate  Custody is necessary as * * *defined set forth in Section 43-21-301(3)( * * *ba); and

              (iii) * * *Such law enforcement officer or agent can find  There is no reasonable alternative to custody; and

          (c)  Any other person may take a child in custody if grounds exist for the arrest of an adult in identical circumstances.  Such other person shall immediately surrender custody of the child to the proper law enforcement officer who shall thereupon continue custody only as provided in subsection (1)(a) of this section.

     (2)  When it is necessary to take a child into custody, the least restrictive custody should be selected.

     (3)  Unless the child is immediately released, the person taking the child into custody shall immediately notify the judge or his designee.  A person taking a child into custody shall also make continuing reasonable efforts to notify the child's parent, guardian or custodian and invite the parent, guardian or custodian to be present during any questioning.

     (4)  A child taken into custody shall not be held in custody for a period longer than reasonably necessary, but not to exceed twenty-four (24) hours, and shall be released to his parent, guardian or custodian unless the judge or his designee authorizes temporary custody.

     SECTION 10.  Section 41-111-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-111-1.  (1)  There is created the Child Death Review Panel, whose primary purpose is to foster the reduction of infant and child mortality and morbidity in Mississippi and to improve the health status of infants and children.

     (2)  The Child Death Review Panel shall be composed of seventeen (17) voting members:  the State Medical Examiner or his representative, a pathologist on staff at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, an appointee of the Lieutenant Governor, an appointee of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and one (1) representative from each of the following:  the State Coroners Association, the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Office of Vital Statistics in the State Department of Health, the Attorney General's office, the State Sheriff's Association, the Mississippi Police Chiefs Association, the Department of Human Services, the Children's Advocacy Center, the State Chapter of the March of Dimes, the State SIDS Alliance, the Mississippi Children's Safe Center, Safe Kids Mississippi, and the Mississippi State Fire Marshal's office.

     (3)  The Chairman of the Child Death Review Panel shall be elected annually by the Review Panel membership.  The Review Panel shall develop and implement such procedures and policies necessary for its operation, including obtaining and protecting confidential records from the agencies and officials specified in subsection (4) of this section.  The Review Panel shall be assigned to the State Department of Health for administrative purposes only, and the department shall designate staff to assist the Review Panel.

     (4)  (a)  The Child Death Review Panel shall submit a report annually to the Chairmen of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on or before December 1.  The report shall include the numbers, causes and relevant demographic information on child and infant * * *deaths fatalities and near fatalities in Mississippi, and appropriate recommendations to the Legislature on how to most effectively direct state resources to decrease infant and child deaths in Mississippi.  Data for the Review Panel's review and reporting shall be provided to the Review Panel, upon the request of the Review Panel, by the State Medical Examiner's office, State Department of Health, Department of Human Services, medical examiners, coroners, health care providers, law enforcement agencies, and any other agencies or officials having information that is necessary for the Review Panel to carry out its duties under this section.  The State Department of Health shall also be responsible for printing and distributing the annual report(s) on child and infant deaths in Mississippi.

          (b)  The Children's Safe Center may access and analyze data from the Mississippi Health Information Network to identify data concerning child fatalities and near fatalities necessary for the Review Panel's reporting.

 * * *

(5)  This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2021.

     SECTION 11.  The following shall be codified as Section 41-111-3, Mississippi Code of 1972:

     41-111-3.  (1)  Mandatory reporters:  All law enforcement officers, firefighters, child protection service employees, medical care personnel, doctors, nurses, medical examiners, coroners, health care providers, and all agents and employees of the State Medical Examiner's office, and any other persons who are designated as mandatory reporters under Section 43-21-353(1) who have knowledge or information concerning a "child fatality" or child "near fatality" must make a report to the State Child Abuse Hotline.

     (2)  Definitions.  (a)  "Child fatality" or "child death" means the sudden and unexpected, or otherwise unexplained death of a child who is between the ages of birth and eighteen (18) years.

          (b)  "Child near fatality" or "child near death" incident includes all occurrences where a child's physical condition is medically diagnosed as "serious" or "critical" if there is some indication or suggestion that the child's injuries may have been caused by abuse, neglect, or an unexplained cause.

     (3)  Mandatory reporting requirement.  A mandatory reporter must make a report if it would be reasonable for the mandatory reporter to suspect that a child death or child near fatality was caused by abuse, neglect, or occurred unexpectedly due to an unexplained cause.  Reports to the Child Abuse Hotline must be made in all circumstances involving child fatalities and near fatalities, including, but not limited to, situations where:

          (a)  Abuse or neglect is the suspected cause of a child's sudden or unexpected death;

          (b)  There is a medical diagnosis of "sudden unexplained infant death" (SUID);

          (c)  The cause of death of any child is unexplained;

          (d)  The child is the victim of suspected sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, and physical injury has resulted that has been medically diagnosed as "serious" or "critical"; and

          (e)  Severe abuse or neglect is suspected, or an unexplained cause resulted in severe physical injury or trauma to a child that resulted in a medical diagnosis that the child's condition was "serious" or "critical," or which required hospitalization in an intensive care unit of a hospital.

     (4)  Mandatory reporting procedure.  A report required under subsection (2) must be made immediately to the State Child Abuse Hotline.  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a mandatory reporter may not delegate to any other person the responsibility to report, but must make the report personally.

     (5)  Contents of the report.  The report must identify, to the extent known to the reporter, the following:

          (a)  The name and address of the minor victim;

          (b)  The name and address of the minor's caretaker;

          (c)  Any other pertinent information known to the reporter.

     (7)  Confidentiality.  Reports made under this section are not public records.  Reports made under this section and the identity of the mandatory reporter shall be confidential, except when the court determines the testimony of the person reporting to be material to a judicial proceeding, so that the identity of the reporter is released to law enforcement agencies and the appropriate prosecutor.  In those circumstances, the identity of the reporting party shall not be disclosed to anyone other than law enforcement or prosecutors except under court order.  Violation of this confidentiality requirement is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not to exceed six (6) months, a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars, ($1,000.00), or both.  Disclosure of any information by the prosecutor shall conform to the Mississippi Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court Procedure.

     (7)  Immunity.  A mandatory reporter who makes a required report under this section or participates in a judicial proceeding resulting from a mandatory report is presumed to be acting in good faith.  A health care practitioner or health care facility is immune from any penalty, civil or criminal, for good-faith compliance with any rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section.  A person or institution reporting in good faith is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

     (8)  Penalties.  Failure to make a mandatory report required under this section will be punished as follows:

          (a)  A person who is convicted of a first offense of failure to make a report as required under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).

          (b)  A person who is convicted of a second offense of failure to make a report as required under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), imprisoned for not more than thirty (30) days, or both.

          (c)  A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense of failure to make a report as required under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or both.

     SECTION 12.  Section 43-21-257, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-257.  (1)  Unless otherwise provided in this section, any record involving children, including valid and invalid complaints, and the contents thereof maintained by the Department of Human Services, or any other state agency, shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed except as provided in Section 43-21-261.

     (2)  The Office of Youth Services shall maintain a state central registry containing the number and disposition of all cases together with such other useful information regarding those cases as may be requested and is obtainable from the records of the youth court.  The Office of Youth Services shall annually publish a statistical record of the number and disposition of all cases, but the names or identity of any children shall not be disclosed in the reports or records.  The Office of Youth Services shall adopt such rules as may be necessary to carry out this subsection.  The central registry files and the contents thereof shall be confidential and shall not be open to public inspection.  Any person who discloses or encourages the disclosure of any record involving children from the central registry shall be subject to the penalty in Section 43-21-267.  The youth court shall furnish, upon forms provided by the Office of Youth Services, the necessary information, and these completed forms shall be forwarded to the Office of Youth Services.

     (3)  The Department of * * *Human Child Protection Services shall maintain a state central registry on neglect and abuse cases containing (a) the name, address and age of each child, (b) the nature of the harm reported, (c) the name and address of the person responsible for the care of the child, and (d) the name and address of the substantiated perpetrator of the harm reported.  "Substantiated perpetrator" shall be defined as an individual who has committed an act(s) of sexual abuse or physical abuse that would otherwise be deemed as a felony or any child neglect that would be deemed as a threat to life. * * *, as determined upon investigation by the Office of Family and Children's Services.  "Substantiation" for the purposes of the Mississippi Department of Human Services Central Registry shall require  A name is to be added to the registry only based upon a criminal conviction or an adjudication by a youth court judge or court of competent jurisdiction, ordering that the name of the perpetrator be listed on the central registry * * *, pending due process.  The Department of Human Services shall adopt such rules and administrative procedures, especially those procedures to afford due process to individuals who have been named as substantiated perpetrators before the release of their name from the central registry, as may be necessary to carry out this subsection.  The central registry shall be confidential and shall not be open to public inspection.  Any person who discloses or encourages the disclosure of any record involving children from the central registry without following the rules and administrative procedures of the department shall be subject to the penalty in Section 43-21-267.  The Department of Human Services and its employees are exempt from any civil liability as a result of any action taken pursuant to the compilation and/or release of information on the central registry under this section and any other applicable section of the code, unless determined that an employee has willfully and maliciously violated the rules and administrative procedures of the department, pertaining to the central registry or any section of this code.  If an employee is determined to have willfully and maliciously performed such a violation, said employee shall not be exempt from civil liability in this regard.

     (4)  The Mississippi State Department of Health may release the findings of investigations into allegations of abuse within licensed day care centers made under the provisions of Section 43-21-353(8) to any parent of a child who is enrolled in the day care center at the time of the alleged abuse or at the time the request for information is made.  The findings of any such investigation may also be released to parents who are considering placing children in the day care center.  No information concerning those investigations may contain the names or identifying information of individual children.

     The Department of Health shall not be held civilly liable for the release of information on any findings, recommendations or actions taken pursuant to investigations of abuse that have been conducted under Section 43-21-353(8).

     SECTION 13.  Section 93-17-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     93-17-55.  As used in Sections 93-17-51 through 93-17-67, the word "child" shall mean a minor as defined by Mississippi law who is:

          (a)  A dependent of a public or voluntary licensed child-placing agency, eligible for Supplemental Security Income prior to the finalization of the adoption, one (1) for whom supplemental benefits were paid pursuant to the aforementioned sections in a previous adoption that was dissolved or wherein the adoptive parents died, or is the child of a minor parent in foster care for whom the board payment was increased on account of the birth;

          (b)  Legally * * *free eligible for adoption; and

          (c)  In special circumstances whether:

              (i)  Because he has established significant emotional ties with prospective adoptive parents while in their care as a foster child and it is deemed in the best interest of the child by the agency to be adopted by the foster parents, or

              (ii)  Because he is not likely to be adopted because of one or more of the following * * * handicapsspecial needs:  1. severe physical or mental disability, 2. severe emotional disturbance, 3. recognized high risk of physical or mental disease, * * *or 4. older than two (2) years of age, 5. a sibling group to be adopted together, or 6. any combination of these * * *handicaps special needs.

     SECTION 14.  Section 93-17-67, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     93-17-67.  (1)  If the adoptive parents of a child eligible for adoption supplemental benefits sign an adoption assistance agreement with the Department of * * *Human Child Protection Services, then, whether or not they accept such benefits, Medicaid coverage shall be provided for the child under the agency's medical payment program from and after the commencement date established pursuant to Section 93-17-61 until the child's eighteenth birthday, provided that federal matching funds are available for such payment.

     (2)  Any child who is adopted in this state through a state-supported adoption agency and who immediately prior to such adoption was receiving Medicaid benefits because of a severe physical or mental * * * handicap special need shall continue to receive such coverage benefits after adoption age eighteen (18), and such benefits shall be payable as provided under the agency's medical payment program for so long as the State Department of * * *Human Child Protection Services determines that the treatment or rehabilitation for which payment is being made is in the best interest of the child concerned, but not past the age of twenty-one (21) years, provided that federal matching funds are available for such payment and that any state funds used for such payment shall have been appropriated specifically for such purpose.

     (3)  Any child who is adopted in this state through a state-supported adoption agency and who immediately before the adoption was receiving Medicaid benefits because of a determination of special needs under Section 93-17-55 (c)(ii) shall continue to receive the Medicaid benefits after adoption until the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) if the child is still in high school as verified by proof of enrollment and an anticipated graduation date letter from the school.  If coverage is extended because the child remains enrolled in high school, the coverage shall terminate at graduation or age twenty-one (21), whichever occurs first.

          ( * * *34)  If permitted by federal law without any loss to the state of federal matching funds, the financial resources of the adopting parents shall not be a factor in such determination except that payments on behalf of a child of any age may be adjusted when insurance benefits available to the adopting parents would pay all or part of such payments being made by the state, or if medical or rehabilitation services are otherwise available without cost to the adopting parents.  The amount of financial assistance given shall not exceed the amount that the Medicaid Commission would be required to pay for the same medical treatment or rehabilitation.

     ( * * *45)  The receipt of Medicaid benefits by an adopted child under Sections 93-17-51 through 93-17-67 shall not qualify the adopting parents for Medicaid eligibility, unless either parent is otherwise eligible under Section 43-13-115, Mississippi Code of 1972.

     SECTION 15.  Section 93-17-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     93-17-69.  The Department of Child Protection Services is authorized to provide financial support for nonrecurring adoption expenses to any person proposing to adopt a child who is a dependent of a state child-placing agency and who is in special circumstances as defined in paragraph (c) of Section 93-17-55 * * * shall be represented by the State Department of Public Welfare when requested by the adopting parent in all phases of the adoption proceeding.  State child‑placing agencies shall advise prospective adopting parents of their right under this section to be represented in adoption proceedings.  The fees for filing the petition for adoption and preparing a revised birth certificate, any court costs taxed against the petitioner and any other actual payments made by the Department of Public Welfare to third parties as required to complete the adoption proceeding, shall be paid by the adopting parent.

     SECTION 16.  Section 93-31-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     93-31-3.  (1)  (a)  A parent or legal custodian of a child, by means of a properly executed power of attorney as provided in Section 93-31-5, may delegate to another willing person or persons as attorney-in-fact any of the powers regarding the care and custody of the child other than the following:

              (i)  The power to consent to marriage or adoption of the child;

              (ii)  The performance or inducement of an abortion on or for the child; or

              (iii)  The termination of parental rights to the child.

          (b)  A delegation of powers under this section does not:

              (i)  Change or modify any parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority established by an existing court order;

              (ii)  Deprive any custodial or noncustodial parent or legal guardian of any parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority regarding the custody, visitation, or support of the child; or

              (iii)  Affect a court's ability to determine the best interests of a child.

          (c)  If both parents are living and * * * have shared custody as a matter of law or under an existing court order neither parent's parental rights have been terminated, both parents must execute the power of attorney.  If a noncustodial parent is absent or unknown, the custodial parent must complete the affidavit contemplated under Section 93-31-5 and attach it to the power of attorney.

          (d)  A power of attorney under this chapter must be facilitated by either a child welfare agency that is licensed to place children for adoption and that is operating under the Safe Families for Children model or another charitable organization that is operating under the Safe Families for Children model.  A full criminal history and child abuse and neglect background check must be conducted on any person who is not a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling of the child if the person is:

              (i)  Designated or proposed to be designated as the attorney-in-fact; or

              (ii)  Is a person over the age of fifteen (15) who resides in the home of the designated attorney-in-fact.

     (2)  A power of attorney executed under this chapter shall not be used for the sole purposes of enrolling a child in a school to participate in the academic or interscholastic athletic programs provided by that school or for any other unlawful purposes, except as may be permitted by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (Public Law 114-95).

     (3)  The parent or legal custodian of the child has the authority to revoke or withdraw the power of attorney authorized by this section at any time.  Upon the termination, expiration, or revocation of the power of attorney, the child must be returned to the custody of the parent or legal custodian * * * as soon as reasonably possible.

     (4)  Until the authority expires or is revoked or withdrawn by the parent or legal custodian, the attorney-in-fact shall exercise parental or legal authority on a continuous basis without compensation for the duration of the power of attorney.

     (5)  The execution of a power of attorney by a parent or legal custodian does not, in the absence of other evidence, constitute abandonment, desertion, abuse, neglect, or any evidence of unfitness as a parent unless the parent or legal custodian fails to take custody of the child or execute a new power of attorney after the one-year time limit, or after a longer time period as allowed for a serving parent, has elapsed.  Nothing in this subsection prevents the Department of Human Services or law enforcement from investigating allegations of abuse, abandonment, desertion, neglect or other mistreatment of a child.

     (6)  When the custody of a child is transferred by a power of attorney under this chapter, the child is not considered to have been placed in foster care and the attorney-in-fact will not be subject to any of the requirements or licensing regulations for foster care or other regulations relating to out-of-home care for children and will not be subject to any statutes or regulations dealing with the licensing or regulation of foster care homes.

     (7)  (a)  "Serving parent" means a parent who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, including any reserve component thereof, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps or the Public Health Service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services detailed by proper authority for duty with the Armed Forces of the United States, or who is required to enter or serve in the active military service of the United States under a call or order of the President of the United States or to serve on state active duty.

          (b)  A serving parent may delegate the powers designated in subsection (1) of this section for longer than one (1) year if on active-duty service or if scheduled to be on active-duty service.  The term of delegation, however, may not exceed the term of active-duty service plus thirty (30) days.

     (8)  (a)  A power of attorney under this chapter must be filed in the youth court of the county where the minor child or children reside at the time the form is completed, and the clerk of the youth court will not impose or collect a filing fee.  The filing is informational only, and no judicial intervention shall result at the time of filing.

          (b)  The power of attorney must be entered into the Mississippi Youth Court Information Delivery System (MYCIDS) under Section 43-21-351, and must be administratively reviewed by the youth court judge or referee, or a person designated by the youth court judge or referee, to ensure the safety of the child or children who are the subjects of the power of attorney one (1) year after the date of execution.

     SECTION 17.  Section 93-31-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     93-31-5.  (1)  The following statutory form of power of attorney to delegate parental or legal authority as authorized by Section 93-31-3 is legally sufficient:

Statutory Form for Power of Attorney to

Delegate Parental or Legal Custodian Powers

     1.  "I certify that I am the parent or legal custodian of:

______________________________                 ___________________

(Full name of minor child)                   (Date of birth)

______________________________                 ___________________

(Full name of minor child)                   (Date of birth)

______________________________                 ___________________

(Full name of minor child)                   (Date of birth)

who is/are minor children.

     2.  I designate as the attorney-in-fact for each minor child named above:   ___________________________________________________

                   (Full name of attorney-in-fact)

__________________________________________________________________

(Street address, city, state and zip code of attorney-in-fact)

__________________________________________________________________

(Home phone, work phone and cell phone of attorney-in-fact)

as the attorney-in-fact of each minor child named above.

     3.  [Complete either Section 3(a) or 3(b)].

          (a)  I delegate to the attorney-in-fact all of my power and authority regarding the care, custody and property of each minor child named above, including, but not limited to, the right to enroll the child in school, inspect and obtain copies of education records and other records concerning the child, the right to attend school activities and other functions concerning the child, and the right to give or withhold any consent or waiver with respect to school activities, medical and dental treatment, and any other activity, function or treatment that may concern the child.  This delegation shall not include the power or authority to consent to marriage or adoption of the child, the performance or inducement of an abortion on or for the child, or the termination of parental rights to the child.

OR

          (b)  I delegate to the attorney-in-fact the following specific powers and responsibilities (write in):

__________________________________________________________________

[If Section 3(b) is completed, Section 3(a) does not apply.]

     This delegation shall not include the power or authority to consent to:  marriage or adoption of the child, performing or inducing an abortion on or for the child, or the termination of parental rights to the child.

          (c)  The reason or reasons for this transfer of custody is as follows:  __________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

     [Complete either 4(a) or 4(b)]

     4.  (a)  This power of attorney is effective for a period not to exceed one (1) year, beginning, _____________, 20___, and ending _____________, 20____.  I reserve the right to revoke this authority at any time.

OR

     [Complete either 4(a) or 4(b)]

          (b)  I am a serving parent as defined in Section 93-31-3, Mississippi Code of 1972.  My active-duty service is scheduled to begin on _____________, 20___, and is estimated to end on ______________, 20____.  I reserve the right to revoke this authority at any time.  I acknowledge that in no event may this delegation of power last more than one (1) year or the term of my active duty plus thirty (30) days, whichever is longer.

                           By:  _________________________________

                               (Parent/Legal Custodian signature)

     5.  I hereby accept my designation as attorney-in-fact for the minor child/children specified in this power of attorney.

                                _________________________________

                                   (Attorney-in-fact signature)

     6.  AFFIDAVIT OF FACILITATING AGENCY UNDER SECTION 93-31-3(1)(d), Mississippi Code of 1972

          I, _____________________________________ of __________

_____________(Agency), do hereby certify that I have properly vetted the proposed designated attorney-in-fact as required under Section 93-31-3(1)(d), Mississippi Code of 1972, and find no criminal or child abuse or neglect history.

                             ____________________________________

                                (Agency representative signature)

                             ____________________________________

                                  Name of facilitating agency

State of _________________________

County of ________________________

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

     Before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public, in and for said county and state on this ____ day of _____________, 20____, personally appeared _____________________________________________

_______________________________(Name of facilitating agency and person signing as facilitator, __________________________________ (Name of Parent/Legal Custodian) and _______________________(Name of Attorney-in-fact),  known to me to be the persons who executed this instrument and who acknowledged to me that each executed the same as his or her free and voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes set forth in the instrument.

     Witness my hand and official seal the day and year above written.

                                  _______________________________

                                  (Signature of notarial officer)

(Seal, if any)

_________________________

(Title and Rank)

My commission expires:________________"

     7.  If the custodial parent alleges that the noncustodial parent is absent, unknown, or that the location of the noncustodial parent is unknown, an affidavit must be completed and

attached to the power of attorney.  The following statutory form is sufficient:

Affidavit of Custodial Parent

STATE OF _________________

COUNTY OF ________________

     I hereby certify that I am the custodial parent of the child(ren)_who are the subject of the power of sttorney to which this affidavit is attached.  I further certify that the location of the noncustodial parent, ____________________  is unknown to me or that the identity of the father is unknown to me (insert here if the father is unknown)___________ or that the noncustodial parent is unavailable (state here the reason unavailable):  ____________________________________________.

     SO SWORN, this the ______ day of ___________, 20____                                  ___________________________________

                             Custodial Parent

     SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority in and for the aforementioned jurisdiction, the within named person who first presented proof of identity.

     THIS, the __ day of _____________, 20________.

                             __________________________________

                             NOTARY PUBLIC

My commission expires: __________________________

     (2)  A power of attorney, affidavit of facilitating agency, and affidavit of custodial parent that substantially * * * conforms conform to the forms set forth in this section * * * is are legally sufficient if * * *the form is properly completed and acknowledged.

     (3)  A revocation of a power of attorney under this chapter must be filed with the youth court where the original power of attorney was filed, and the clerk of the youth court shall not impose or collect a filing fee.  The following statutory form is sufficient to revoke a power of attorney to delegate parental or legal custodial powers that was granted under Section 93-31-3:

Statutory Form for Revocation of

Power of Attorney to Delegate Parental or

Legal Custodial Powers

     "1.  I certify that I am the parent or legal custodian of:

______________________________                 ___________________

(Full name of minor child)                   (Date of birth)

______________________________                 ___________________

(Full name of minor child)                   (Date of birth)

______________________________                 ___________________

(Full name of minor child)                   (Date of birth)

who is/are minor children.

     2.  On the ____ day of _______________, 20_____, I designated as the attorney-in-fact of each minor child named above:

__________________________________________________________________

(Full name of attorney-in-fact and DOB)

__________________________________________________________________

(Street address, city, state and zip code of attorney-in-fact)

     3.  I hereby certify that I am revoking said Power of Attorney to Delegate Parental or Legal Custodial Powers and am requesting that my child or children named above be immediately returned to my legal and physical care, custody and control and that I resume all legal rights and responsibilities associated with my child or children.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

     Before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public, in and for said county and state on this ____ day of _____________, 20____, personally appeared _____________________________________________

_______________________________(Name of Parent/Legal Custodian), known to me to be the person who executed this instrument and who acknowledged to me that he or she executed this instrument as his or her free and voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes set forth in the instrument.

     Witness my hand and official seal the day and year above written.

                                  _______________________________

                                  (Signature of notarial officer)

(Seal, if any)

_________________________

(Title and Rank)

My commission expires:________________"

     SECTION 18.  Section 43-21-321, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-321.  (1)  All juvenile detention centers shall develop and implement policies and procedures that comply with the regulations promulgated by the Juvenile Facilities Monitoring Unit.

     (2)  If a student's detention will cause the student to miss one or more days of school during the academic school year, the detention center staff shall notify school district officials where the detainee last attended school by the first school day following the student's placement in the facility.  Detention center staff shall not disclose youth court records to the school district, except as provided by Section 43-21-261.

     (3)  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; and

          (c)  Each center shall have a policy, procedure and practice that ensures that personnel files and records are current, accurate and confidential.

     (4)  Local school districts shall work collaboratively with juvenile detention center staff to provide special education services as required by state and federal law.  Upon the written request of the youth court judge for the county in which the detention center is located, a local school district in the county in which the detention center is located, or a private provider agreed upon by the youth court judge and sponsoring school district, shall provide a certified teacher to provide educational services to detainees.  The youth court judge shall designate the school district which shall be defined as the sponsoring school district.  The local home school district shall be defined as the school district where the detainee was last * * *attended prior to detention enrolledDetainees that have received a high school equivalency diploma shall be provided post-secondary instruction based on interest.  Teacher selection shall be in consultation with the youth court judge.  The Legislature shall annually appropriate sufficient funds for the provision of educational services, as provided under this section, to detainees in detention centers.

     (5)  To ensure that students in youth detention facilities continue to receive appropriate educational services, local education agencies (LEAs) must have policies and procedures to ensure the relevant records of students who move to, and from, youth detention facilities in accordance with State Board of Education policy.

     ( * * *56)  The sponsoring school district, or a private provider agreed upon by the youth court judge and sponsoring school district, shall be responsible for providing the instructional program for the detainee while in detention during the sponsoring school district's academic calendar and a six (6) week summer enrichment program, the dates which are determined by the school board of the sponsoring school district.  The enrichment program shall be facilitated by certified or classified district staff and shall be focused academically on mathematics and English language arts instruction, and may include other primary core subject areas, including character education.  The six-week enrichment program shall not set aside any guidelines set forth by the Individuals with Disabilities Act.  The summer enrichment program may be computer based and have an abbreviated school day that shall not be less than four (4) hours per day.  After forty-eight (48) hours of detention * * *, excluding legal holidays and weekends during the sponsoring school district's academic calendar and the six-week enrichment program, the detainee shall receive the following services which may be computer-based:

          (a)  Diagnostic assessment of grade-level mastery of reading and math skills;

          (b)  Individualized instruction and practice to address any weaknesses identified in the assessment conducted under paragraph (a) of this subsection if the detainee is in the center for more than forty-eight (48) hours during the sponsoring school district's academic calendar during the sponsoring school district's academic calendar and the six (6) week enrichment program; and

          (c)  Character education to improve behavior.

     ( * * *67)  No later than the tenth day of detention during the sponsoring school district's academic calendar and the six (6) week enrichment program, the detainee shall begin an extended detention education program.  A team consisting of a certified teacher provided by the local sponsoring school district or a private provider agreed upon by the youth court judge and sponsoring school district, the appropriate official from the local home school district, and the youth court counselor or representative will develop an individualized  * * *education academic program (IAP) for the detainee, where appropriate as determined by the teacher of the sponsoring school district, or a private provider agreed upon by the youth court judge and sponsoring school district.  The detainee's parent or guardian shall participate on the team unless excused by the youth court judge.  Failure of any party to participate shall not delay implementation of this education program.  Any student identified under IDEA shall utilize the student's current IEP in lieu of the IAP.

     (8)  It shall be the responsibility of the student's local home school district school or the district the student last attended to ensure that all related services identified on a student's IEP are provided in accordance to the student's IEP.

     (9)  It shall be the responsibility of the student's local home school district to collaborate with the sponsoring school district to ensure that all students including students with disabilities are appropriately included in general state and district-wide assessments, including assessments required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended, and state law.

     (10)  Teachers in youth detention facilities serving IDEA eligible students must be licensed with endorsements required by state and federal law, and related services personnel and paraprofessionals must meet state and federal qualifications for those personnel.

     ( * * *711)  The sponsoring school district, or a private provider agreed upon by the youth court judge and sponsoring school district, shall provide the detention center with an appropriate and adequate computer lab to serve detainees.  The Legislature shall annually appropriate sufficient funds to equip and maintain the computer labs.  The computer lab shall become the property of the detention centers and the sponsoring school districts shall maintain and update the labs.

     ( * * *812)  The Mississippi Department of Education will collaborate with the appropriate state and local agencies, juvenile detention centers and local school districts to ensure the provision of educational services to every student placed in a juvenile detention center.  The Mississippi Department of Education has the authority to develop and promulgate policies and procedures regarding financial reimbursements to the sponsoring school district from school districts that have students of record or compulsory-school-age residing in said districts placed in a youth detention center.  Such services may include, but not be limited to:  assessment and math and reading instruction, character education and behavioral counseling.  The Mississippi Department of Education shall work with the appropriate state and local agencies, juvenile detention centers and local school districts to annually determine the proposed costs for educational services to youth placed in juvenile detention centers and annually request sufficient funding for such services as necessary.

     ( * * *913)  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 home school district once released from detention.  The transition team will consist of a certified teacher provided by the local sponsoring school district, or a private provider agreed upon by the youth court judge and sponsoring school district, the appropriate official from the local home school district, the school attendance officer assigned to the local home school district, and the youth court counselor or representative.  The detainee's parent or guardian shall participate on the team unless excused by the youth court judge.  Failure of any party to participate shall not delay implementation of this education program.

     (14)  Student records, including grades and attendance shall be part of the student's transition and submitted to the receiving school district for review.  Grades received from the JDC education program shall be incorporated into each student's academic performance grade.

     ( * * *1015)  The Juvenile Detention Facilities Monitoring Unit of the Department of Public Safety shall monitor the detention facilities for compliance with these minimum standards, and no child shall be housed in a detention facility that the monitoring unit determines is substantially out of compliance with the standards prescribed in this section.  In accordance with Section 43-21-907(5), the Mississippi Department of Education has the authority to promulgate rules and regulations related to the education of all children housed in a juvenile detention facility, to conduct inspections of the facility's educational services at least annually or more often as deemed necessary and shall provide the licensing agency with its determination of the facility's compliance with the education provisions.  The licensing agency shall use the information in its determination of the facility's eligibility for licensure.

     SECTION 19.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2019.


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