Report Title:

Sex Offenders; Notification Requirements

Description:

Amends the sex offender notification requirements to provide an assessment of the risk posed by a sex offender and to provide for community notification depending upon the threat posed by the offender.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

3029

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to sex offenders.

 

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

SECTION 1. In State v. Bani (No. 22196, decided November 21, 2001), the Hawaii supreme court held that the public notification provisions of chapter 846E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, are void and unenforceable under due process of law, as guaranteed by article I, section 5 of the Hawai`i Constitution, because the law failed to "allow a registered sex offender a meaningful opportunity to argue that he or she does not represent a threat to the community and that public notification is not necessary, or that he or she represents only a limited threat such that limited public notification is appropriate."

The legislature finds that the Hawaii supreme court cites with apparent approval state statutes that provide for classification of the risk posed by sex offenders for purposes of notification, with "the extent of the community notification being dependent upon the threat posed by the offender." The legislature notes that one of these is Washington's state statute. The legislature further finds that Washington's state statute provides for an assessment of the risk posed by the sex offender and that the extent of notification is based upon that risk. The legislature believes that such a scheme provides adequate due process protections by providing notice and an opportunity to be heard on the issue of whether the offender presents a present threat to the public and permits public notification consistent with the risk posed. It is the intent of the legislature to incorporate such a scheme into chapter 846E, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to amend the sex offender notification requirements to provide an assessment of the risk posed by a sex offender and to provide for community notification depending upon the threat posed by the offender.

SECTION 2. Chapter 846E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"846E- Pre-release review committee. (a) Each agency having jurisdiction shall establish a pre-release review committee for the purposes of assigning risk levels for any sex offender required to register under this chapter. The pre-release review committee shall assess, on a case-by-case basis, the public risk posed by a sex offender prior to the offender's discharge, parole, or release. The sex offender shall have notice of the committee's assessment and an opportunity to present information to the committee.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the pre-release review committee shall have access to all relevant records and information in the possession of public agencies relating to the offenders under review, including police reports; prosecutors' statements of probable cause; presentence investigations and reports; complete judgments and sentences; current classification referrals; criminal history summaries; violation and disciplinary reports; all psychological evaluations and psychiatric hospital reports; sex offender treatment program reports; and juvenile records. Records and information obtained under this subsection shall not be disclosed outside the committee unless otherwise authorized by law.

(c) The pre-release review committee shall review each sex offender under its authority before the offender's discharge, parole, or release in order to classify the offender into a risk level for the purposes of public notification under section 846E-3. The pre-release review committee, after assessment, shall classify sex offenders as follows:

(1) Sex offenders whose risk assessments indicate a low risk of reoffense within the community at large shall be classified as risk level I;

(2) Sex offenders whose risk assessments indicate a moderate risk of reoffense within the community at large shall be classified as risk level II; and

(3) Sex offenders whose risk assessments indicate a high risk of reoffense within the community at large shall be classified as risk level III.

(d) The pre-release review committee shall issue to appropriate law enforcement agencies, for their use in making public notifications under section 846E-3, narrative notices regarding the sex offender's pending discharge, parole, or release. The narrative notices, at a minimum, shall describe the identity and criminal history behavior of the offender and shall include the committee's risk level classification for the offender. For sex offenders classified as either risk level II or III, the narrative notices also shall include the reasons underlying the classification."

SECTION 3. Section 846E-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"846E-3 Access to registration information. (a) Registration information shall be disclosed as follows:

(1) The information shall be disclosed to law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes;

(2) The information shall be disclosed to government agencies conducting confidential background checks;

(3) [The] Pursuant to subsections (c) and (d), the attorney general and any county police department shall release relevant information that is necessary to protect the public concerning a specific person required to register under this chapter; provided that the identity of a victim of an offense that requires registration under this chapter shall not be released.

(b) For purposes of this section, "relevant information that is necessary to protect the public" means:

(1) Name and all aliases used by the sex offender or under which the sex offender has been known;

(2) The street name and zip code where the sex offender resides and how long the sex offender has resided there;

(3) The street name and zip code where the sex offender is staying for more than ten days, if other than the stated residence;

(4) The future street name and zip code, if known, where the sex offender is planning to reside, if other than the stated residence;

(5) The street name and zip code of the sex offender's current locations of employment;

(6) The year, make, model, color, and license number of all vehicles currently owned or operated by the sex offender;

(7) A brief summary of the criminal offenses against victims who were minors and the sexually violent offenses for which the sex offender has been convicted or found unfit to proceed or acquitted pursuant to chapter 704; and

(8) A recent photograph of the sex offender.

[(c) Relevant] A sex offender shall have a diminished expectation of privacy in relevant information that is necessary to protect the public [shall be collected for purposes of making it available to the general public, and a sex offender shall have a diminished expectation of privacy in the information].

(c) The extent of the public disclosure of relevant and

necessary information shall be rationally related to: the level of risk posed by the offender to the community; the locations where the offender resides or expects to reside; and the needs of the affected community members for information to enhance their individual and collective safety.

The attorney general and any county police department shall consider the following guidelines in determining the extent of a public disclosure made under this section:

(1) For offenders classified as risk level I, the attorney general or police department shall share information with other appropriate law enforcement agencies and may disclose, upon request, relevant, necessary, and accurate information to any victim or witness to the offense and to any individual community member who lives near the residence where the offender resides or expects to reside;

(2) For offenders classified as risk level II, the attorney general or police department may also disclose relevant, necessary, and accurate information to public and private schools, child day care centers, family day care providers, businesses and organizations that serve primarily children, women, or vulnerable adults, and neighbors and community groups near the residence where the offender resides or expects to reside;

(3) For offenders classified as risk level III, the attorney general or police department may also disclose relevant, necessary, and accurate information to the public at large, as provided in subsection (d); and

(4) Because more localized notification is not feasible in the case of homeless and transient offenders who may present unique risks to the community, the attorney general or police department may also disclose relevant, necessary, and accurate information to the public at large, as provided in subsection (d), for offenders registered as homeless or transient.

(d) The release of relevant information [that is necessary to protect] to the public at large concerning a sex offender as provided in subsection (c)(3) or (4) shall be accomplished by public access to a file containing the relevant information on [each registered] the sex offender, a copy of which shall be provided for inspection upon request at the Hawaii criminal justice data center and at one or more designated police stations in each county, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays excluding holidays. The chief of police and the attorney general shall provide the relevant information on sex offenders upon payment of reasonable fees. Relevant information [on each registered] concerning a sex offender as specified in subsection (c)(3) or (4) may also be released from an electronic database that is maintained by the respective law enforcement agencies and that is accessible to users through an interactive computer-based system."

SECTION 4. This Act shall apply to any sex offender, as defined in section 846E-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, discharged, paroled, or released prior to the Act's effective date.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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