Sex Offender Laws in Mississippi
The Mississippi Sex Offenders Registration Law was established under federal legislation. The law mandated that the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (MDPS) had to formulate a registry for certain convicted sexual or attempted sex offenses. Also, it includes sexual offenders who have been acquitted because of insanity for any sex offense or attempted sexual offense.
Also, adjudicated delinquents of any sex offense or attempted sex offense have to be registered. These offenses pertain to registrable offenses as defined in Ms. Code Ann. (MCA) Section 45-33-23(g). They include but are not limited to rape, rape, and assault with intent to ravish, statutory rape, kidnapping (if the victim is under 18 years), sexual battery and exploitation of a child. For the complete list refer to MCA Section 45-33-25(g).
From July 1, 2005, sexual offenders are required to report to a registration agency. This is the sheriff ‘s office, Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) or any other allotted agency. They have to complete the registered forms, be fingerprinted, photographed and submit a DNA sample. Offenders are further required to submit a copy of the completed form to any MDPS Driver’s License station and pay a nominal registration fee.
Subsequently, they have issued a sex offender photograph card, informed of their first 90-day registration date and advised when re-registration is required. Re-registration is a legal requirement every 90 days, where offenders have to appear at any Driver’s License station to verify all their details and to be photographed again. The offender is issued a new sex offender’s card. The card has details of the next re-registration. The MDPS does not send out reminders to offenders about their next appointment.
Reference: MCA Section 45-33-23(f) for definition of responsible agency and MCA Section 45-33-27 for registration process.
Sex offenders’ information which is contained in the registry includes but is not limited to - name and alias used, residential and employment addresses, and details of the offense. Other information gathered pertains to date and place of birth, age, race, height, weight, vehicular details, etc. For further information refer MCA Section 45-33-25(2).
Penalties for Noncompliance of Registration
Failure of a sexual offender to appear at a DPS driver’s license station, or not completely register, provide false information or forge information during the initial registration or re-registration makes him or her liable under the law. It is a felony, which carries a prison sentence not exceeding five years or a maximum fine of $5,000 or both. The offender’s driver’s license can also be suspended.
If an offender moves out of Mississippi, the MDPS will not take his or her name out of the registry. Such offenders will continue in the registry even if they live, work, reside or attend school in another jurisdiction and are registered in that jurisdiction. The only update made in the Mississippi registry will be that the offender has moved out of state.
Mississippi Sex Offenders residing near schools
From July 1, 2006, Mississippi legislation has restricted convicted sexual offenders from residing within 1500 feet of the real property comprising a public, nonpublic elementary or secondary school or any childcare facility. It is not applicable to offenders whose residences were established before July 1, 2006, or if the school or facility moved within 1,500 after the offender’s residence was established. There are other exceptions that apply as well.
From July 1, 2008 legislation extended the law to include – a residential child-caring agency, a children’s group care home or any playground, ballpark or other recreational facility utilized by persons under the age of 18 years. It is not applicable to offenders whose residences were established before July 1, 2008, or if the child-caring agency or care home, ballpark etc. moved within 1,500 feet after the offender’s residence was established. Further exceptions apply.
For complete details on residential restrictions refer to – MCA Section 45-33-25(4)