Mississippi  Department of  Corrections

Rick McCarty  

Phil Bryant

Interim Commissioner   

 Governor  

 

 

 

 

MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

DIVISION OF RECORDS

 

The primary mission of the Records Department of the Mississippi Department of Corrections is to provide an accurate and complete record on individuals who are sentenced to the custody and/or supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.  These files are kept on all offenders convicted of one or more felonies. 

MASTER FILE:  A cumulative case history permanently maintained on each offender who is or has been under the supervision of the MDOC.

CREATING THE MASTER FILE AND LOADING INMATE AND SENTENCE INFORMATION:

For offenders convicted of a felony in Mississippi and sentenced to a term of MDOC supervision or incarceration in the custody of MDOC, the record or master file begins with an Indictment or Bill of Information, certified sentencing order, and a notice of criminal disposition provided by the Circuit Clerk of the county where the offense was committed.   When these documents are received by the Records Department it triggers the creation of the offender’s master file.  Prior to placing the actual documents in the Inmate’s Master File, the documents are scanned into the offender’s electronic file in the agency’s imaging system.  

A faxed request for pre-sentence jail time is sent on each offender to the county jail in the county of conviction in order to determine how much time the offender served prior to his sentence (Pre-trial time) on the charge for which he stands convicted.  This information is critical to accurate time computation.

A National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) Triple III report is run on the offender sentenced to serve time in order for the Records Department to be able to properly compute the offender’s sentence.  A prior violent felony conviction regardless of whether or not it occurred in Mississippi will make an offender convicted of a crime committed after June 30, 1995 ineligible for parole consideration and may also affect the offender’s classification. 

Record Technicians must interpret sentencing orders and load this information, as well as all of the pertinent information contained in these documents, into MDOC’s computer system in order for the time computation process begins. 

After an offender’s demographic and sentencing information has been loaded, an offender sentenced to a term of incarceration, including an offender ordered by the court to participate in the Regimented Inmate Discipline program (RID) or an Alcohol and Drug Program (A&D) (Judicial Review), is transported to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) for Initial Classification.   The Master File that has been created by the Records Department is utilized by the Division of Classification in classifying the offender using an Objective Initial Classification process.   Psychological and health evaluations are also done at this time.   After an inmate is classified at CMCF the offender is giving a housing assignment suitable for his classification. 

TIME COMPUTATION:    Inmate time computation is a main function of the MDOC Records Department. The amount of time an offender serves under MDOC custody is determined by the following:  

  • Type of crime
  • Length of Sentence
  • Terms and Conditions of Sentence
  • Laws in effect at the time the crime was committed
  • Laws in effect at the time offender was sentence
  • Laws and policies regarding discretionary early release
  • Amount of pre-trial detention
  • Meritorious Earned Time, Executive Time, or Trusty Earned Time
  • Institutional misconduct resulting in the loss of earned time or trusty status
  • Detainers
  • Additional sentences

Meritorious Earned Time:

Meritorious Earned Time (MET) allows for a discretionary reduction of sentence for satisfactory participation in educational, vocational, and work programs. 

·        Can only be earned on or after an offender’s date of sentence 

·        An offender cannot earn more than 10 days of MET each month

·        Judicial Review A&D and RID offenders cannot receive MET or Trusty Status while participating in an assigned program

Offenders will not be eligible for MET if they:

·        Have receive a mandatory or habitual sentence

·        Have been assigned to a maximum-security facility for disciplinary reasons

·        Have been found guilty of a major or serious RVR within the past six months

·        Have been found guilty of a minor RVR within the past three months

·        Have received a life sentence

·        Were convicted of capital murder, murder (homicide), attempted capital murder, or attempted murder (homicide)

·        Have not discharged the entire sentence for the:

o       Conviction of a sex crime

o       Conviction for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

·        Have not served the remainder of the sentence for which an ERS violation was applied

Trusty Status/Trusty Earned Time:

Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 47-5-138.1, trusty earned time is a reduction in sentence which may be granted in addition to any other administrative reduction in sentence to an offender in trusty status as defined by the classification board of the Department of Corrections.  From and after April 28, 2004, a trusty earned time allowance of thirty (30) days reduction of sentence may be granted for each thirty (30) days of participation in an approved program while in trusty status.  Prior to April 28, 2004 the trusty earned time allowance was ten (10) days reduction of sentence for each thirty (30) days of participation in an approved program while in trusty status.

30/30 trusty time does not reduce the time which must be served for parole eligibility.

An offender shall not be eligible for a reduction in sentence under this section if:

            (a)  The offender was sentenced to life imprisonment;

            (b)  The offender was convicted as a habitual offender under Sections 99-19-81 through 99-19-87;

            (c)  The offender was convicted of a sex crime;

            (d)  The offender has not served the mandatory time required for parole eligibility, as prescribed under Section 47-7-3, for a conviction of robbery or attempted robbery through the display of a deadly weapon, carjacking through the display of a deadly weapon or a drive-by shooting;

(e)     The offender was convicted of trafficking in controlled substances under Section 41-29-139.

            MDOC Policy also excludes the following from receiving 30/30 trusty time:

            (a)  Offenders convicted of attempted murder or accessory before the fact to murder (effective 4/20/2005); and

            (b)  Offenders convicted of failure to register as a sex offender (effective 3/1/2006).

DISCHARGE OF OFFENDERS:  Discharge Certificates are provided to the inmates by the Records Department upon discharge of their sentence.  The Records Department provides information to the inmate regarding which probation and parole field office he is to report for supervision if he has probation or post-release supervision to follow discharge.  Notifications are sent to the Sentencing Judge, District Attorney, Sheriff, Circuit Clerk and Chief of Police.  Registered victims are also notified. 

OTHER RECORDS DEPARTMENT DUTIES:

The Records Department is responsible for checking Warrants on absconded probationers, parole violators, escaped ERS and House Arrest Offenders and escaped inmates according to the rules of the NCIC (National Crime Information Center).  When offenders placed on NCIC are arrested, Records is notified and transportation is arranged back to the county jail in the case of probationers and to CMCF (Central Mississippi Correctional Facility) on other offenders.

The Records Department also receives court orders regarding the transportation of inmates.  Records then arranges movement with transportation to the various county jails for those offenders needed for court.  When a sheriff’s office is transporting an inmate to court, the officer will need to provide a certified court order and proper identification before transporting an offender from the facility.  When a sheriff’s office picks up an offender for court, the offender must be transported after his/her court appearance to CMCF to be reprocessed in case of new sentences.  The offender is then removed from the count at the facility where he was originally held.  In order to transport an offender across the state line for court, the state will need a Governor’s Extradition (Rendition Warrant) and proper identification to transport.

When an offender subject to a Mississippi sentence is incarcerated in another state or by the federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) the Records Department files detainers with the other state or the BOB requesting that they notify the agency when the offender in their custody is ready for release. 

The Records Department maintains detainers filed with MDOC regarding offenders in MDOC custody and notifies the various county, state, and federal jurisdictions when offenders in MDOC custody are ready to discharge and be released to them.

Other law enforcement agencies frequently contact MDOC Records for information on offenders or former offenders.  The Records Department provides penitentiary packages (PEN Packs) to be used to show prior criminal convictions.  This involves making a copy of the pertinent information and certifying that it is correct. 

The identification office photographs offenders to provide the Records Department a current visual image, fingerprints offenders, and prepares appropriate notification according to state law on sex offender’s registration prior to discharging their sentence.  This office also prepares the documentation necessary to comply with DNA laws on offenders.

REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION:  Information shall be released only to persons so authorized by appropriate legislation and regulations.  Inmates, attorneys, legislators, the governor’s office, victims, law enforcement agencies, the inmate’s family and others may contact the Records Department when they have a question concerning an offender’s records or sentence.

The goal of the Records Department is to provide accurate and complete information on all offenders sentenced to the Mississippi Department of Corrections in order to assist in providing for the public safety of the citizens of the State of Mississippi.

SENTENCE COMPUTATION LAWS

Miss. Code Ann. § 47-7-3 (Parole)

Miss. Code Ann. § 47-5-138 (Earned Release Supervision0

Miss. Code Ann. § 47-5-138.1 (Trusty Status)

Miss. Code Ann. § 47-5-139  (Earned Time Eligibility)

Miss. Code Ann. § 47-5-142  (Meritorious Earned Time)