Probation is an alternative to incarceration. At the time of a trial, a judge has the sole authority to recommend probation for a defendant. Once someone is granted probation, then he/she is considered an MDOC offender.
When an offender is granted probation, the Probation Agent immediately conducts an initial supervision interview with the probationer. At this time, the individual is provided with the conditions of his/her probation. During the term of probation, a probation agent monitors the individual throughout the probation sentence.
Crimes such as murder, capital murder, manslaughter, habitual offenders, and previous offense convictions automatically disqualify someone from receiving probation.
In addition, crimes can be classified as adjudicated or non-adjudicated.
Depending on various factors including an offender’s criminal history, crime, crime commit date, and sentence, some offenders may be eligible for parole consideration after serving a portion of their sentence. Although an offender may be eligible for parole, it is not guaranteed that one will be granted parole. Whether or not an offender is released early to parole is within the complete discretion of the Mississippi State Parole Board. A list of all offenders eligible for parole is generated each month and sent to the Parole Board. When considering whether to grant or deny parole the Board considers a multitude of factors including, but not limited to, the following:
- Severity of offense
- Number of offenses committed
- Psychological and/or psychiatric history
- Disciplinary action while incarcerated
- Community Support or Opposition
- Amount of Time Served
- Prior misdemeanor or felony conviction(s)
- Policy and/or juvenile record
- History of drug or alcohol abuse
- History of violence
- Crimes committed while incarcerated
- Escape history
- Participation in rehabilitative programs
- Arrangements for employment and/or residence
- Whether the offender served in the United States Armed Forces and received and honorable discharge
Victims and family members of victims are allowed to make impact statements to the Parole Board.
- Interstate Compact
The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) is a member of the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, which is an agreement entered into by eligible jurisdictions within the United States and its territories. The Interstate Compact Division monitors the supervision of all offenders placed on community-based supervision within the state of Mississippi and member states.
Probationers and parolees may submit application for transfer to another state by contacting his correctional Probation/Parole Agent, correctional case manager, or parole releasing authorities. Several compact forms must be completed and an application fee of $50.00 must be submitted at the time the transfer is requested.
In accordance with sec. 3.103 of the National Commission rules, Acceptance of the offender by receiving state. To review the law in its entirety go to: www.interstatecompact.org.
- Intensive Supervision Program
Intensive Supervision Program (ISP), commonly referred to as “house arrest,” is an alternative program to incarceration in a facility. Offenders on house arrest must wear a monitoring device bracelet at all times. Depending on the sentence, offenders are required to be at home during certain times of the day. If at any time an offender is not at home during the required curfew, an ISP Agent is immediately notified. If necessary, a warrant is issued for the offender’s arrest if it is considered to be an escape from ISP.
An offender can only be sentenced to ISP by a judge. House Bill 585, effective July 1, 2014, removed MDOC's authority to release offenders on House Arrest.
For more information, contact ISP.
For more information § 47-5-1001 - § 47-5-1014
- Earned Release Supervision Program
When an individual is sentenced to serve time, an Earned Release Supervision (ERS) date, a tentative release date and a maximum release date are calculated. The earned release supervision date is based on an offender serving a percentage of their sentence, which correlates with applicable laws. For example, an offender may be required to serve 85% of a sentence in a facility and is eligible to serve the remaining 15% on ERS, if the crime was committed on or after July 1, 1995.
There are many factors that are considered in calculating an offender’s ERS eligibility date. An ERS date does not automatically mean an offender will be released on that date. For instance, an offender’s behavior while incarcerated is a key factor that is reviewed by the classification committee.
When an offender is near his ERS date, he receives a letter from MDOC. Once the offender receives this letter, then it is the responsibility of the offender to provide a residence address where he plans to live while on ERS. Once the address is received by MDOC, the address is then given to the Probation/Parole Agent that will inspect the residence, meets with any family members that the offender will be living with, etc., and ultimately determines if the residence is acceptable for the inmate to live while on ERS.
Some factors that disqualify offenders for ERS include, but not limited to:
- Offenders sentenced to life imprisonment
- Offenders convicted as a habitual offender
- Offenders who forfeit their earned time allowance by order of the Commissioner
- Offenders who have not served the mandatory time required for parole eligibility for a conviction of robbery or attempted robbery, or carjacking or attempted carjacking with a deadly weapon or drive by shooting
- Offenders convicted of a sex crime
- Offenders who have escaped or attempted escape from an adult prison
Any offender under ERS retains offender status and remains under the jurisdiction of MDOC. An ERS offender is not allowed to leave the state of Mississippi at any time during his or her ERS. If an offender violates any conditions of ERS, the offender has to serve the remainder of the sentence in a facility. Any time served on ERS is not applied to the sentence or used to reduce a sentence.
If an offender violates any conditions of ERS, the offender is arrested and returned to MDOC and provided a classification hearing. All offenders arrested and returned from ERS are granted a hearing by a classification committee officer. If the offender is found not guilty of the pending charges, the offender may be returned to the original status on ERS.
For more information, contact ERS.
For more information § 47-5-138