REPORT TITLE:
Crime simulation modeling.


DESCRIPTION:
Appropriates funds for a criminal justice computer simulation
modeling program.  (HB1006 SD1)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        1006
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                S.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO A SENTENCING SIMULATION MODEL.



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

 1      SECTION 1.  For the past twenty years, expansion of the
 
 2 correctional system has failed to keep pace with the increase in
 
 3 the number of inmates.  The proposed new two-thousand three-
 
 4 hundred bed prison barely provides the number of additional beds
 
 5 necessary to meet today's inmate population needs, let alone the
 
 6 number anticipated by the projected opening in 2002.  The
 
 7 combined jail and prison population in Hawaii grew from two-
 
 8 thousand eighty-five on June 30, 1988, to four-thousand eight-
 
 9 hundred eighty on June 30, 1998, a one-hundred thirty-four per
 
10 cent increase.  Alternatives to incarceration, which can provide
 
11 cost-effective means of sentencing some convicted defendants, are
 
12 equally overburdened.
 
13      An accurate profile of existing convicted defendants and the
 
14 development of tools to predict future criminal offender
 
15 populations are essential to the efficient management of these
 
16 limited correctional and alternative resources.  In addition,
 
17 implementation of criminal justice initiatives like truth-in-
 
18 sentencing requires accurate information and forecasting.
 

 
Page 2                                                     1006
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1
                                                        

 
 1      The legislature finds that the goals of effective sentencing
 
 2 and control of spiraling correctional costs can best be
 
 3 accomplished through the establishment of a sentencing simulation
 
 4 model.  The simulation model will provide the legislature and the
 
 5 law enforcement community with the necessary tools to forecast
 
 6 prison populations and ensure efficient allocation of existing
 
 7 and proposed resources for all convicted defendants.  These
 
 8 resources include not only prison beds, but alternatives to
 
 9 incarceration (e.g., probation, drug courts, and other
 
10 diversionary programs) and community-based programs.
 
11      A simulation model will permit an assessment of the impact
 
12 of current and proposed sentencing policies, including truth-in-
 
13 sentencing and other initiatives, on existing correctional system
 
14 and community resources.  It will permit officials to use
 
15 different combinations of criminal justice indicators, such as
 
16 crime rates, arrests, convictions, prison populations, juvenile
 
17 crime, and other actual objective data, to project the impact of
 
18 proposed policy changes on Hawaii's resources.  The modeling
 
19 capability will allow legislators and other criminal justice and
 
20 corrections officials to propose more meaningful and effective
 
21 criminal justice and correctional initiatives.
 
22      Establishment of a sentencing simulation model is at least a
 
23 two-step process.  The first step requires the consolidation of
 
24 data presently maintained in separate databases by the attorney
 

 
Page 3                                                     1006
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1
                                                        

 
 1 general, the judiciary, and the department of public safety.
 
 2 Tasks that must be completed in the first step include:
 
 3      (1)  Gathering current data about the State's prison,
 
 4           probation, parole, and community-based criminal
 
 5           defendant populations;
 
 6      (2)  Establishing a centralized computer-based criminal
 
 7           defendant population database; and
 
 8      (3)  Establishing a computerized network for maintaining the
 
 9           centralized database, including direct connectivity
 
10           among the components of the criminal justice and
 
11           correctional systems, to ensure that the centralized
 
12           database is current and accurate.
 
13      The second step requires the development of computer
 
14 modeling techniques that use information in the centralized
 
15 criminal defendant population database and project the impact of
 
16 different sentencing policies and proposals on future criminal
 
17 justice and corrections populations.  Sentencing simulation
 
18 models in other jurisdictions have demonstrated high accuracy
 
19 rates for their projections--variances have been well below two
 
20 per cent.
 
21      SECTION 2. (a) In conjunction with the department of
 
22 the attorney general's authority and responsibility to initiate,
 
23 develop, and perform or coordinate programs, projects, and
 

 
Page 4                                                     1006
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1
                                                        

 
 1 activities on the subject of crime under section 28-10.6, Hawaii
 
 2 Revised Statutes, the attorney general shall establish a
 
 3 sentencing simulation model that includes: a centralized
 
 4 computer-based criminal defendant population database; a
 
 5 computerized network for maintaining the centralized database,
 
 6 including direct connectivity among the components of the State's
 
 7 criminal justice and correctional systems to ensure that the
 
 8 centralized database's information is current and accurate; and
 
 9 computer modeling techniques that use information in the
 
10 centralized database to project the impact of different
 
11 sentencing policies and proposals on future criminal justice and
 
12 corrections populations and resources.
 
13      The establishment of the sentencing simulation model shall
 
14 include the compilation of data on current populations of
 
15 convicted defendants in the criminal justice system and in
 
16 community-based programs, as well as the development of a
 
17 modeling capability to predict future populations and the impact
 
18 of criminal justice policy initiatives on those populations.
 
19      (b)  The judiciary and state departments with relevant
 
20 information for the centralized database shall cooperate with the
 
21 attorney general in the establishment and maintenance of the
 
22 sentencing simulation model.  Once established, the model shall
 
23 be available to the legislature and all components of the
 

 
Page 5                                                     1006
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1
                                                        

 
 1 criminal justice and corrections systems of the State.
 
 2      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
 
 3 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $122,000, or so much
 
 4 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000 and the sum
 
 5 of $85,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal
 
 6 year 2000-2001 to carry out the purposes of this Act, including
 
 7 the hiring of necessary staff and the purchase of necessary
 
 8 services and equipment.
 
 9      SECTION 4.  The sums appropriated shall be expended by the
 
10 department of the attorney general.
 
11      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.