STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2487
RE: S.B. No. 2791
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 2791 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Support ho‘opono mamo, the new Hawaii youth diversion system, through the establishment of the Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center, to be operated and maintained by the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facilities;
(2) Improve and enhance Hawaii's juvenile justice system by strengthening services available to prevent juvenile delinquency and recidivism and to support rehabilitation; and
(3) Re-invest savings from the reduction of the number of youth in secure confinement at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facilities into services to prevent juvenile delinquency, specifically mental health and substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation, and to provide a more successful and supportive community reentry transition.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Office of Youth Services, Hawaii Youth Services Network, Community Alliance on Prisons, Residential Youth Services & Empowerment, Blueprint for Change, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Hale Kipa, Ho‘omanapono Political Action Committee, Friends of Youth Outreach, and three individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Health and Department of Education.
Your Committee finds that the Legislature enacted Act 201, Session Laws of Hawaii 2014, to reform Hawaii's juvenile justice system, commit to improve outcomes for Hawaii's youth in the juvenile justice system, and maximize the effective use of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facilities' appropriations and treatment options. Your Committee further finds that critical services to reduce delinquency, including mental health treatment, prevention of youth homelessness, vocational services, and substance abuse treatment, are still insufficiently resourced and inaccessible to Hawaii's at-risk youth population. This measure will allow youth and young adults, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four, who are in the juvenile justice system to receive assistance and services needed to prevent further delinquency and recidivism.
Your Committee recognizes that allegations of an increase in juvenile arrests, particularly in Waikiki, were not caused by homeless youth and that allegations like this further stigmatize this population.
Your Committee also notes that the Department of Education has expressed the intent to meet with the Department of Human Services and Department of Health to clarify the educational needs of the youth and young adults at the proposed Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center.
Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2791, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2791, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
JOSH GREEN, Chair