Report Title:

Public Safety; Minimum Security Prison; Prisoners on the Mainland; Appropriation

 

Description:

Appropriates funds to the department of public safety to develop a plan by January 1, 2008, to return all female Hawaii prisoners incarcerated in mainland prisons back to Oahu by July 1, 2009. Requires department of public safety to: (1) conduct study to identify three sites in State for minimum security prison; (2) conduct study on the possible sale of the Oahu community correction center site; and (3) submit quarterly reports relating to Hawaii prisoners incarcerated in mainland prisons. (SB917 HD2)

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

917

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2007

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 2

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

Relating to public safety.

 

 

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

 


PART I

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that approximately one hundred seventy-four women prisoners who are residents of the State of Hawaii are incarcerated in mainland prisons. Many of these women are parents and are incarcerated at the minimum-security level.

The increased likelihood of children of incarcerated parents being at high risk for physical and mental problems, aggression, and criminal activity has been documented in numerous studies by various institutions, including the Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents, the Child Welfare League of America, and the Federal Resource Center for Children of Prisoners.

The legislature further finds that the children of prisoners incarcerated on the mainland have an even higher risk of becoming troubled due to the geographical separation that precludes regular visits between parent and child and limits access to support services.

The purpose of this part is to create a plan to return all female prisoners who are residents of Hawaii and incarcerated on the mainland to Hawaii by July 1, 2009.

SECTION 2. The department of public safety shall develop a plan, to be completed by January 1, 2008, to return to the State of Hawaii by July 1, 2009, all female prisoners who are residents of the State of Hawaii and who have been sent to the mainland for incarceration.

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 2007-2008, for the development of a plan to return to the State of Hawaii by July 1, 2009, all female prisoners who are residents of the State of Hawaii and who have been sent to the mainland for incarceration.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of public safety for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. The department of public safety shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2008 on its plan to return to the State of Hawaii by July 1, 2009, all female prisoners who are residents of the State of Hawaii and who have been sent to the mainland for incarceration.

Part II

SECTION 5. The legislature finds that Hawaii's prison system is bursting at the seams with a swelling inmate population. Since 1995, the department of public safety has been transporting prisoners to facilities in Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, Minnesota, Arizona, and Tennessee. Approximately eighteen hundred Hawaii inmates are housed in out-of-state correctional facilities each year. That number is nearly half of the Hawaii prison population. Although it is a temporary solution, the State cannot afford to transport inmates to mainland facilities indefinitely.

According to the department of public safety's 2004 annual report, forty-one per cent of male inmates and forty-four per cent of female inmates are classified as minimum-security or community-custody-level inmates.

However, due to budget constraints, Hawaii has only two minimum-security prisons, Waiawa correctional facility on Oahu and Kulani correctional facility on the island of Hawaii. Both Waiawa and Kulani often exceed their operational capacity.

The legislature finds that a study is needed to determine the best possible sites in the state for a new minimum-security prison facility.

The purpose of this part is to require the department of public safety to conduct a study to explore and determine three sites in the state for a minimum-security prison facility.

SECTION 6. (a) The department of public safety shall undertake a study to explore and determine three sites within the state for a minimum-security prison to house a minimum of five hundred inmates and to include an intensive mandatory substance abuse treatment program. Of the three sites determined by the department of public safety, two sites shall be located on Oahu and the third site shall be located on one of the neighbor islands. In determining the three sites, the department of public safety may consider expansion of existing facilities. The study shall include, but not be limited to a list of all sites considered by the department of public safety and an evaluation as to the feasibility of planning, designing, and constructing a suitable minimum-security facility at the three sites identified, and the estimated costs of planning, designing, and constructing the facility at each of the identified sites.

(b) The department of public safety shall submit a report to the legislature, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2008, containing its findings and recommendations on the study required by subsection (a), including any proposed legislation to implement the recommendations found in the study.

PART III

SECTION 7. The Oahu community correctional center is the largest prison in the state and is situated on sixteen acres in urban Honolulu. The Oahu community correctional center has a history of overcrowding and currently houses over fourteen hundred men and women inmates, including pretrial detainees, persons arrested who cannot make bail, or persons being held without bail until their trials. The Oahu community correctional center is not a functional facility to accommodate the size of the current inmate population and was originally constructed to accommodate a much smaller inmate population. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Hawaii's prison population has grown from nine hundred eighty-five in 1980, to 5,454 in 2002.

The purpose of this Act is to review the feasibility of selling or leasing the Oahu community correctional center in order to build a new facility in a different location to accommodate and manage the continued growth of the inmate population.

SECTION 8. (a) The department of public safety and the office of planning shall review the public safety properties along the proposed rail transit line, assess the market values of these public safety properties, and consider the sale or lease of the Oahu community correctional center. All proceeds from such a sale or lease shall be used to finance the construction of a new correctional facility or facilities or to pay off bonds issued to finance the construction.

(b) The department of public safety shall submit a status report to the legislature not later than twenty days before the convening of the 2008 legislature, setting forth the results and recommendations of the review required in subsection (a).

PART IV

SECTION 9. Approximately twelve Hawaii residents are housed in various prisons in the continental United States under the Interstate Corrections Compact. The current monitoring of conditions at these prisons and the health and safety of the Hawaii resident inmates held in those prisons has proven to be insufficient. The purpose of this Act is to require the mainland branch of the corrections division of the department of public safety to improve its monitoring and reporting about the conditions of Hawaii residents held in mainland prisons under the Interstate Corrections Compact by collecting standardized quarterly reports from each of these facilities about each Hawaii resident inmate it houses.

SECTION 10. Section 355D-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]355D-5[]] Contracts[.] and reporting. (a) The director of public safety may enter into such contracts on behalf of the State as may be appropriate to implement the participation of the State in the Interstate Corrections Compact pursuant to article III thereof. No such contract shall be of any force or effect until approved by the governor and comptroller.

(b) The mainland branch of the corrections division of the department of public safety shall submit to the governor, legislature, and director of public safety standardized, quarterly reports about each Hawaii resident inmate incarcerated in facilities pursuant to the Interstate Corrections Compact containing the following information:

(1) Status of the incarcerated person's health;

(2) Any behavioral or disciplinary issues;

(3) Progress in rehabilitative programs; and

(4) Any complaints filed by the incarcerated person and how such complaints have been resolved.

The reports shall be due on October 5, 2007, and on the fifth day of each December, April, July, and October thereafter. The reports shall cover the three months immediately prior to that date. The reports shall comply with and be available for public inspection, pursuant to chapter 92F; provided that the information in these reports shall be redacted minimally to exclude the incarcerated person's name and other sensitive and protected information."

PART V

SECTION 11. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 12. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020; provided that section 3 shall take effect on July 1, 2020.