JACKSON, Miss.–Mississippi’s Attorney Gen. Jim Hood says he is proud of several laws passed this legislative session, including bills that strengthen what the government can do about human trafficking, domestic violence and child pornography.
Hood’s office sent out a press release Monday outlining the laws and how they improve the ability to fight those crimes.
“We will see several laws become stronger July 1 thanks to bi-partisan support this past legislative session,” said Hood, the lone Democrat in high public office in the state.
In particular, Hood praised the Human Trafficking Bill, which bolsters the penalties for the trafficker, creates a minimum penalty, required reporting to DHS and law enforcement, provides consent of a minor is not a defense, provides for forfeiture for traffickers and redefines prostitution to include human trafficking statutes and enhances those penalties.
Hood also praised new domestic violence laws which add aggravated domestic violence as a crime and have already created a state-run domestic violence task force, with 26 members appointed by the governor.
Hood, who has improved the state’s technological fight against cyber crime and child pornography, also praised a new law that revises the state’s current laws against child pornography by creating a new crime of “knowingly access with the intent to view child pornography”, which is in line with federal statutes.
Also praised were new statutes that boost the crime victims’ compensation fund and who can be compensated and how, Governor Bryant’s Teen Pregnancy initiatives, the Child Protection Act, which more firmly establishes ways to report and prosecute sexual abusers, including men who impregnate underage girls.
Another bill is set to try and improve where the mentally ill are housed. Currently, many sit in jail before going to the State Hospital or other facilities when beds become available.