$Report Title:

Funding For Drug Treatment Counselors


Appropriates funds for two counselors on Maui to treat women incarcerated on drug-related offenses. (SB634 SD2)


S.B. NO.



S.D. 2






making an appropriation for two counselors to treat women incarcerated for drug-related offenses on Maui.



SECTION 1. The legislature finds the incarceration rate for women has been dramatically outpacing that of men. From 1995 to 1997, the number of imprisoned women increased by sixty-five per cent while that of men grew by twenty-eight per cent. The vast majority of female inmates are sentenced for drug-related non-violent crimes, such as drug possession, theft, larceny, and prostitution. Most drug addicted offenders who are sentenced to terms of imprisonment will eventually be released back into the community on parole or at the expiration of their sentences. Without proper treatment, an offender is likely to continue to be drug dependent and to commit new offenses, resulting in further injury to victims, loss of property, and the expenditure of scarce resources for identification, apprehension, prosecution, and re-incarceration of the offender.

The legislature further finds that the judiciary's Hawaii drug court program is experiencing a five per cent recidivism rate as compared to a twenty-five to thirty-five per cent recidivism rate for the general inmate population. The State's cost of putting an offender through the drug court program is $8,000 a year as compared to $32,000 a year for incarceration. Currently, women offenders on Maui qualifying for the drug court program are sent to the mainland for treatment. Maui county provides funding for only six women each year to participate in drug treatment on the mainland at a cost of $62,400.

The legislature further finds that in Hawaii, eighty per cent of women statewide are incarcerated on drug-related offenses. At Maui community correctional center, women are the fastest growing inmate population. Maui has the highest incidence of drug and alcohol abuse of any of the Hawaiian islands. More than eleven per cent of births on Maui are drug affected. Of these mothers, eighty per cent use alcohol, sixty per cent use marijuana, thirty per cent use cocaine, and twenty-three per cent use crystal-methamphetamine.

In the year 2000, two hundred two births were diagnosed as maternal substance abuse births. Medical complications often impact infants of drug dependent mothers. Infants exposed to cocaine during pregnancy, more example, are forty times more likely to develop abnormalities, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning or motor incapacity, or both. Maui memorial hospital estimates that the care required for babies that are born drug affected can cost more than $43,000 in the first month of life. A child suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome is estimated to cost society over $40,000 to prepare to attend school.

Additional costs associated with incarcerated women stem from the emotional trauma suffered by children separated from their incarcerated mothers. Studies indicate that this separation increases a child's risk for later involvement in the criminal justice system by five hundred to six hundred per cent.

The purpose of this Act is to appropriate money to fund two counselor positions on the island of Maui to treat women offenders qualifying for the drug court program.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $       , or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004, and $       , or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005 to hire two drug treatment counselors on Maui as well as for other related expenses for the treatment of women offenders incarcerated on drug-related charges who qualify for the drug court program. The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2003.