H.R. NO.













requesting the judiciary to report to the legislature on the probable impact of sentencing nonviolent drug offenders to treatment instead of IMprisonMENT.




     WHEREAS, the Drug Court program has a limited number of open slots available; and


     WHEREAS, substance-involved individuals have come to comprise a large portion of Hawaii's incarcerated population; and


     WHEREAS, the Criminal Justice Institute's preliminary classification report, commissioned by the Department of Public Safety, reveals that 71.2 per cent of incarcerated women and sixty-five per cent of incarcerated men are nonviolent offenders; and


     WHEREAS, these nonviolent offenders are projected to be classified as "minimum" or "community custody", the least restrictive custody levels; and


     WHEREAS, incarceration is the most expensive sanction, ranging in cost from $118 to $139 per day to incarcerate an individual in a Hawaii jail or prison; and


     WHEREAS, studies show that treatment is more effective than incarceration; and


     WHEREAS, for every $1 spent on drug treatment, $18 is saved in the community (Aos, Steve, Polly Phipps, Robert Barnoski, and Roxanne Lieb. 2001.  The Comparative Costs and Benefits of Programs to Reduce Crime, Version 4.0. Olympia:  Washington State Institute for Public Policy.); and


     WHEREAS, the prosecutor's office has testified that seventy per cent of the crimes committed in Honolulu were motivated by drugs; and


     WHEREAS, studies show that incentives are more effective than sanctions when addressing the issues associated with drug offenders; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2010, that the Judiciary is requested to report to the Legislature on the probable impact of sentencing nonviolent drug offenders to an alternative program of treatment instead of imprisonment; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Judiciary is requested to focus the study on offenders being sentenced for an offense involving the possession of a dangerous, harmful, or detrimental drug or marijuana under part IV of chapter 712, Hawaii Revised Statutes, or an offense involving the use of, or possession with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce a controlled substance into the human body, in violation of chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Judiciary is requested to additionally focus the study on cases where nonviolent drug offenders have been assessed by a certified substance abuse counselor to be in need of substance abuse treatment due to dependency or abuse under the applicable Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and Addiction Severity Index, and where the court has determined that the offense for which the offender is being sentenced is related to the offender's substance abuse dependency or addiction; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Judiciary is requested to report its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2011; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, the Chief of Police of each county, the Prosecuting Attorney of each county, the state Public Defender, and the federal Public Defender for the District of Hawaii.









Report Title: 

Judiciary; Nonviolent Drug Offenders; Alternative Sentencing; Feasibility Study