Report Title:

Mental Health

Description:

Allows the Department of Health to expand its capacity to obtain verifiable information regarding the criminal history of potential employees and contract providers to both mental health divisions.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1362

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH

 

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

SECTION 1. Section 846-45, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[846-45] Employees of the department of health, its providers and subcontractors; criminal history checks. (a) The department of health shall develop procedures for obtaining verifiable information regarding the criminal history of persons who are seeking employment, or seeking to serve as providers or subcontractors in positions that place them in direct contact with clients when providing non-witnessed direct mental health services on behalf of the [child and adolescent] mental health [division] divisions of the department of health. These procedures shall include but not be limited to criminal history record checks.

The Hawaii criminal justice data center may assess providers and subcontractors a reasonable fee for criminal history record checks performed. Providers and subcontractors shall be responsible for payment to the Hawaii criminal justice data center for the cost of the criminal history record checks.

(b) Except as otherwise specified, any person who seeks employment with the department of health, or who is employed or seeks employment with a provider or subcontractor in a position that necessitates non-witnessed direct contact with clients when providing non-witnessed direct mental health services on behalf of the [child and adolescent] mental health [division] divisions, shall be required to provide to the department of health:

(1) A sworn statement indicating whether the person has ever been convicted of an offense for which incarceration is a sentencing option and the details thereof;

(2) Written consent for the department of health to conduct a criminal history record check as provided for in subsection (a) and to obtain other information for verification; and

(3) Permission to be fingerprinted for the purpose of the Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history record check.

Information obtained pursuant to subsection (a) and this subsection shall be used exclusively by the department of health for the purposes of determining whether a person is suitable for working in a position that necessitates non-witnessed direct contact with clients when providing non-witnessed direct mental health services on behalf of the [child and adolescent] mental health [division] divisions. All such decisions shall be subject to federal laws and regulations currently or hereafter in effect.

(c) The department of health may refuse to employ or may terminate the employment of any employee or applicant if the person has been convicted of an offense for which incarceration is a sentencing option, and if the department of health finds by reason of the nature and circumstances of the crime that the person poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of clients receiving non-witnessed direct mental health services. Such refusal or termination may occur only after appropriate investigation, notification of results and planned action, and opportunity to meet and rebut the finding, all of which need not be conducted in accordance with chapter 91.

(d) This section shall not be used by the department of health to secure criminal history record checks on persons who have been employed continuously on a salaried basis prior to July 1, 2000.

(e) Nothing in this section shall prohibit criminal history record checks on employees of all providers and subcontractors.

(f) For the purposes of this section:

"Criminal history record check" means an examination or search for evidence of an individual's criminal history by means of:

(1) A search of the individual's fingerprints in the Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history record files and, if found, an analysis and any other information available pertaining thereto; and

(2) A criminal history record check conducted through the files maintained by the Hawaii criminal justice data center.

"Provider" means any organization or individual that intends to enter into a contract with or is currently contracted by the [child and adolescent] mental health [division] divisions of the department of health to provide direct mental health services to the department's eligible clients.

"Subcontractor" means any organization or individual that enters into a contract or agreement with a provider to provide direct mental health services to the department's eligible clients.

(g) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the department of health shall be exempt from section 831-3.1 for purposes of this section and need not conduct its investigations, notifications, or hearings in accordance with chapter 91. [L 2000,c 146, 1; am L 2001, c 151, 1]"

SECTION 2. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

BY REQUEST