HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.81          
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

REQUESTING THE CONVENING OF A TASK FORCE TO DETERMINE
   ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION AND RECOMMEND SYSTEMIC CHANGES
   FOR THE PROPER TREATMENT OF INDIVIDUALS NEEDING MENTAL
   HEALTH SERVICES.



 1       WHEREAS, when mentally ill individuals do not take their
 2   prescribed medications, they are sometimes arrested because of
 3   paranoid and irrational behaviors and thrown into the criminal
 4   justice system; and
 5   
 6       WHEREAS, due to filled capacity, persons in the criminal
 7   justice system who need mental health services are forced into
 8   incarceration in the state prisons instead of treatment at the
 9   Hawaii State Hospital; and
10   
11       WHEREAS, there is an alleged 40 or so mentally ill
12   individuals residing in prison awaiting space at the Hawaii
13   State Hospital; and
14   
15       WHEREAS, the longer an individual needing mental health
16   services is incarcerated, for whatever reason, the longer the
17   individual is deprived of appropriate treatment; and
18   
19       WHEREAS, other factors, such as a lack of communication
20   between the police departments, the courts, the prisons, and
21   the Department of Health (DOH), perpetuate the inability for
22   adequate and timely mental health services; and
23   
24       WHEREAS, it is unimaginable that a facility that is
25   partially under a consent decree because of overcrowding would
26   be housing individuals requiring mental health services; now,
27   therefore,
28   
29       BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
30   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
31   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Public
32   Safety is requested to convene a Task Force to determine
33   alternatives to incarceration and recommend systemic changes
34   for the proper treatment of individuals needing mental health
35   services; and

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.81          
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force assess the need
 2   for, lack of, and improvement of the following:
 3   
 4       (1)  Education for law enforcement officials on how to
 5            assess and properly handle cases of mentally ill
 6            individuals who create a disturbance;
 7   
 8       (2)  Timely and appropriate services of DOH's Diversion
 9            Team;
10   
11       (3)  Sufficient representation by the Public Defender and
12            the Prosecutor's Office; and
13   
14       (4)  Communication between the police departments, the
15            courts, the prisons, and DOH;
16   and
17   
18       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force consist of:
19   
20       (1)  The Director of Public Safety or the director's
21            representative;
22   
23       (2)  The Director of Health or the director's
24            representative;
25   
26       (3)  The Chief Justice or the Chief Justice's
27            representative;
28   
29       (4)  The Chiefs of Police of each county or their
30            representative;
31   
32       (5)  The Prosecuting Attorney of each county or their
33            representative; and
34   
35       (6)  The Public Defender of each county or their
36            representative;
37   
38   and
39   
40       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force submit its
41   findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than
42   twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of
43   2000; and

 
 
 
 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.81          
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
 2   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Directors of Public
 3   Safety and Health, the Chief Justice, the Chiefs of Police of
 4   each county, the Prosecuting Attorney of each county, and the
 5   Public Defender of each county.
 6 
 7 
 8 
 9                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________