Report Title:

Prisons; Research Corporation of UH; Rehabilitation



Allows the governor to contract with the research corporation of the University of Hawaii to develop prison inmate housing facilities and rehabilitation programs; makes appropriation. (SD1)



H.B. NO.



H.D. 1


S.D. 1




relating to privately-operated correctional facilities.



SECTION 1. The legislature finds that due to public support for mandatory sentences and longer terms of imprisonment, Hawaii’s correctional facilities are being overwhelmed by inmates. To address this issue in a manner that minimizes social, economic, and public safety problems, the State needs to look at innovative strategies to accommodate these inmates.

The legislature further finds that the conditions which contribute to the commission of crimes by offenders must be addressed with innovative strategies to reduce the number of persons being incarcerated. Innovative solutions must be found to address the major underlying factors which may lead to criminal activity. Many of these conditions also affect criminals who commit crimes but are not caught, or are caught but not convicted. New strategies are required to minimize social, economic, and public safety problems requiring appropriate, quality facilities, and innovative programs to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior.

One strategy to house inmates is to provide a rehabilitation center using the design and build approach which has the potential to quickly deliver a rehabilitation center that is built to standards with fixed up front costs. This approach:

(1) Provides a single source of responsibility;

(2) Reduces manager and administrative burdens;

(3) Protects the owner from liability;

(4) Reduces project delivery time;

(5) Reduces design costs;

(6) Provides on—target budget assurance;

(7) Encourages inventive design solutions; and

(8) Reduces project management stress.

Another innovative strategy to house inmates is the lease or finance approach using certificates of participation. Under this approach:

(1) The developer has total responsibility to construct the facility;

(2) Facilities financed with certificates of participation do not count against the State’s constitutional debt and consequently, need not compete against other projects financed with general obligation bonds; and

(3) There is a permanent cap on any inflationary cost on the capital cost of facilities.

Accordingly, the legislature further finds that these strategies for providing a rehabilitation center to house inmates and to lease or finance the facility are particularly well-suited for complex projects that need to be completed efficiently and effectively by a developer with a qualified team of experienced architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors.

This strategy will provide innovative programs to address the underlying causes of crime, by providing the development of research and rehabilitation programs to reduce the number of offenders to within existing cell capacity. This would eliminate the necessity to continue building additional correctional facilities and would allow capital funds to be used to update existing facilities. This strategy includes the following:

(1) Development of a nonprofit research center to collect and analyze data from inmates to be used in developing individualized treatment programs;

(2) Research on the relationship between nutrition and behavior in offenders, including drug and sex offenders through the analysis of neurotransmitter activity, emphasizing the neurotransmitter serotonin;

(3) Research on the effects of proper balanced nutrition and exercise on inmates with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and attention deficit disorder;

(4) Development of a detoxification program for substance abuse offenders and research concerning the relationship between detoxification and behavior;

(5) Development of a one year post-release counseling and vocational development program to assist in the re-integration of offenders;

(6) Follow-up testing of parolees for one year after release to provide data on program effectiveness and monitor neurochemical balance; and

(7) Development of a nonprofit program for offenders and parolees to build affordable panelized housing targeted to providing suitable housing for parolees, ex-offenders, and other low-income residents of the State.

The legislature further finds that the State has an opportunity to take advantage of these innovative strategies for research and rehabilitation that include programs addressing the underlying causes of criminal behavior, the development of programs to change that behavior, and programs to effectively re-integrate offenders back into society, thereby substantially reducing crime.

The purpose of this Act is to authorize the governor to enter into a contract with the research corporation of the University of Hawaii to take advantage of these and similar innovative strategies to develop a rehabilitation center and to conduct research and programs to provide effective rehabilitation.

SECTION 2. Notwithstanding section 353-16.35, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the research corporation of the University of Hawaii may negotiate, upon approval and on behalf of the governor, for the development of facilities to provide the development of a rehabilitation center capable of housing both minimum and medium security offenders; provided that the facility shall:

(1) Have a capacity to accommodate a minimum of four hundred male adult offenders and two hundred female adult offenders with a minimum of one year remaining on their sentences;

(2) Offer extensive rehabilitation and treatment programs as well as concomitant behavioral programs for problems such as spousal abuse;

(3) Have sufficient classrooms to accommodate the rehabilitation and treatment programs;

(4) Offer a variety of vocational industry and educational programs to ensure that when offenders are released they will successfully make the transition back to society with employable skills;

(5) House nonviolent, first-time drug offenders; and

(6) Include a research center that may be located at the facility or at another appropriate location to provide for the nonprofit research corporation to conduct research into the behavior of offenders and the effectiveness of programs and treatment. The research center should include professional, scientific researchers, and medical personnel qualified to conduct research utilizing the most innovative, state-of-the-art methodologies and technology. The research center shall provide:

(A) For the collection of test data;

(B) Research equipment and test material;

(C) Appropriate staffing of physicians, Ph.D. level researchers, medical, and technical and administrative staffing;

(D) Quarterly reports to the State on testing progress and results;

(E) A post-release counseling and vocational development program to assist in the re-integration of offenders to society; and

(F) A nonprofit housing corporation to build affordable housing in the new facility.

The rehabilitation center's annual operating budget shall not exceed the highest annual cost per day, per inmate to operate existing correctional facilities in the State; provided that the budget shall not be less than fifteen per cent more than the amount the State pays to house inmates in out-of-state correctional facilities under section 353-16.2, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

SECTION 3. 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 2001-2002, for preparation of an environmental impact statement for the development of a private research treatment and rehabilitation center as provided in this Act.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the University of Hawaii at Manoa for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 3 shall take effect on July 1, 2001.