STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1487
RE: S.B. No. 917
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Fourth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2007
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Public Safety & Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 917, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to return female inmates who are residents of the State of Hawaii, to study the feasibility of additional prison facilities, and to ensure proper monitoring of Hawaii inmates on the mainland.
More specifically, the bill:
(1) Requires the Department of Public Safety to develop a plan to return all female prisoners, who are residents of Hawaii and incarcerated on the mainland, to Hawaii by July 1, 2009 and to report to the Legislature on the plan prior to the 2008 Regular Session;
(2) Provides funding for the development of the plan;
(3) Requires the Department to conduct a study to determine three possible sites for a minimum security prison facility and report findings to the Legislature prior to the 2008 Regular Session;
(4) Requires the Department of Public Safety, together with the Office of Planning, to study the feasibility of selling or leasing the Oahu community correctional center and to use generated funds to build a new, larger correctional facility; and
(5) Requires the mainland branch of the corrections division of the Department of Public Safety to submit quarterly reports about each Hawaii resident who is incarcerated on the mainland.
Your Committee received testimony in support of the measure from the Community Alliance on Prisons, the Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition, and one individual. One individual submitted comments and the Department of Public Safety submitted testimony in opposition of the measure.
Your Committee recognizes that approximately eighteen hundred Hawaii inmates are incarcerated in mainland prisons because of a lack of available facilities in Hawaii. The absence of incarcerated parents often has a devastating effect on their minor children, and the negative impact is stronger when the place of incarceration is a mainland facility, and family visits are rare.
Your Committee believes that this measure represents a significant step in improving the conditions of inmates during their incarceration at home or on the mainland and in their later reentry to society by addressing overcrowded conditions in correctional facilities and by returning Hawaii residents to local facilities, closer to the support of family and friends.
Your Committee has amended this measure by changing the effective date to July 1, 2015, to facilitate further discussion on these issues.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety & Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 917, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 917, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety & Military Affairs,
CINDY EVANS, Chair