HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

308

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to a treatment court for veterans and active duty service members.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


PART I

SECTION 1. Since the events of September 11, 2001, members of the military, reserves, and national guard have been engaged in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq at unprecedented levels. Hawaii is the only state that hosts all five branches of the United States armed forces. As such, a significant number of veterans and active duty service members, many of whom suffer from a service-related health condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or substance abuse, reside in our State. Sadly, such conditions affect those who have served in a combat zone, as well as those who have not; and they are associated with veterans, as well as those who are still actively serving our country. Not surprisingly, Hawaii has seen an increase in court cases that involve veterans and active duty service members.

In 2008, the first veterans treatment court was established

in Buffalo, New York. Similar models have since emerged across the country. The goal of these courts is to enhance the effectiveness of the criminal justice system through:

(1) Early intervention and diversion from incarceration;

(2) Individualized assessment of problems, including those related to substance abuse;

(3) Judicial tracking and increased judicial involvement in monitoring treatment participation using incentives for compliance and graduated sanctions for noncompliance;

(4) Encouragement of veterans to accept responsibility for their conduct; and

(5) Rehabilitation of veterans and their successful reintegration into society.

The legislature recognizes that the State's prison system is severely overcrowded and that further alternatives to incarceration are needed, including the provision of appropriate treatment, counseling, and more intensive supervision. Successful intervention by a temporary veterans treatment court is expected to have a long-term positive impact on prison overcrowding, the costs of high rates of incarceration, public

safety, probation and parole workloads, and case flow through the judicial system. The legislature finds that extending the concept of a specialized veterans treatment court to include active duty service members would allow for earlier intervention and treatment of service-related conditions, and thus enhance the mission and purpose of the treatment court.

The purpose of this Act is to establish a temporary veterans and active duty military treatment court at the state circuit court level.

PART II

SECTION 2. (a) A temporary Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court shall be established and administered by a circuit court judge of the first judicial circuit who is selected by the chief justice. 

(b) Veterans and active duty service members shall be eligible to participate in the temporary Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court if:

(1) The veteran or active duty service member is arrested for or charged with a class C felony or misdemeanor offense, except an offense under section 709-906;

(2) The court before which the veteran or active duty service member appears finds that the veteran or active duty service member suffers from a service-related brain injury, service-related mental illness, or service-related mental disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and chemical dependency;

(3) The prosecuting attorney of the applicable county approves the transfer of the case from the regular court system to the Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court; provided that if the veteran or active duty service member is on probation with the court before which the veteran or active duty service member appears, the court shall have the final determination on admittance after weighing any objections from the prosecuting attorney; and

(4) The court before which the veteran or active duty service member appears allows the veteran or active duty service member to choose whether to proceed through the veterans and active duty military treatment court or through the traditional criminal justice system.

(c) A victim shall have the right to:

(1) Attend the applicable proceedings of the Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court;

(2) Provide testimony when and if appropriate; and

(3) Receive full and timely restitution as applicable by order of the court.

(d) The temporary Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court may substitute a treatment plan model for traditional court processing for all participating veterans and active duty service members. The veterans and active duty military treatment court shall include the following components:

(1) Emphasis on early identification and timely placement of eligible participants;

(2) Cooperation between the prosecuting attorney and defense attorney to promote public safety and protect participants' due process rights, using a nonadversarial approach;

(3) Integration of alcohol or drug treatment and mental health services with the processing of cases in the criminal justice system;

(4) Access for participants to a continuum of alcohol or drug, mental health, and other treatment and rehabilitation services, including veteran peer mentors;

(5) Frequent testing of participants for alcohol and other drugs;

(6) Establishment of a coordinated strategy by the veterans and active duty military treatment court to respond to a participant's compliance or noncompliance with the participant's treatment regimen;

(7) Ongoing interaction by the veterans and active duty military treatment court judge with each participant;

(8) Establishment of a monitoring and evaluation system to determine the extent to which the veterans and active duty military treatment court achieves its goals, and the court's effectiveness;

(9) Engagement by the veterans and active duty military treatment court staff in continuing interdisciplinary education; and

(10) Encouragement by the veterans and active duty military treatment court of partnerships between the court, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, community-based organizations, public agencies, and other entities, to create local support and promote the court's effectiveness.

(e) For the purposes of this part:

"Active duty service member" has the same meaning as set forth in section 706‑605.1(6).

"Participant" means a veteran or active duty service member who is participating in the temporary Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court program.

"Veteran" has the same meaning as set forth in section 706‑605.1(5).

SECTION 3. (a) The judiciary may establish the following temporary positions for the purpose of implementing the temporary Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court pursuant to section 2 of this Act for fiscal year 2013-2014, to be funded from the appropriation authorized in section 4 of this Act:

(1) One full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) social worker V position ($        );

(2) Two full-time equivalent (2.0 FTE) social worker IV positions ($         each);

(3) One full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) circuit court clerk II position ($        ); and

(4) Any other position(s) necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Act.

(b) The judiciary may seek federal grants and awards and other moneys to fund the temporary Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court.

SECTION 4. 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 2013-2014 for staffing, equipment, and other expenses for the implementation and operation of the temporary Hawaii veterans and active duty military treatment court.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the judiciary for the purposes of this Act.

PART III

SECTION 5. Section 706-605.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"706-605.1 Intermediate sanctions; eligibility; criteria and conditions. (1) The judiciary shall implement alternative programs that place, control, supervise, and treat selected defendants in lieu of a sentence of incarceration.

(2) Defendants may be considered for sentencing to alternative programs if they:

(a) Have not been convicted of a non-probationable class A felony; and

(b) [Have not, within] Within the previous five years, have not been convicted of a crime involving serious bodily injury or substantial bodily injury as defined by chapter 707.

(3) A defendant may be sentenced by a district, family, or circuit court judge to alternative programs.

(4) As used in this section, "alternative programs" means programs that, from time to time, are created and funded by legislative appropriation or federal grant naming the judiciary or one of its operating agencies as the expending agency and that are intended to provide an alternative to incarceration.  Alternative programs may include:

(a) House arrest, or curfew using electronic monitoring and surveillance, or both;

(b) Drug court programs for defendants with assessed alcohol or drug abuse problems, or both;

(c) Temporary veterans and active duty military treatment court programs for defendants who are veterans or active duty service members and who meet specific requirements;

[(c)] (d) Therapeutic residential and nonresidential programs, including secure drug treatment facilities;

[(d)] (e) A program of regimental discipline pursuant to section 706-605.5; and

[(e)] (f) Similar programs created and designated as alternative programs by the legislature or the administrative director of the courts for qualified defendants who do not pose significant risks to the community.

(5) As used in this section, "veteran" means a person who served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or the national guard, and who was federally activated and discharged, without regard to the discharge status.

(6) As used in this section, "active duty service member" means a person currently on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or the national guard."

PART IV

SECTION 6.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2013; provided that on June 30, 2022, this Act shall be repealed and section 706-605.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be reenacted in the form in which it read on the day before the effective date of this Act.


 


INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Hawaii Veterans and Active Duty Military Court; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the Temporary Hawaii Veterans and Active Duty Military Treatment Court within the First Judicial Circuit Court. Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.