HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2018
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to pretrial release.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over sixty per cent of all jail inmates are awaiting court action on a current charge. Another study found that five out of six individuals detained until case disposition were detained because they could not afford bail, not because they were found to be dangerous or a flight risk.
The legislature finds that a growing number of jurisdictions, including Arizona, Kentucky, and New Jersey, are adopting risk assessment tools to help judges make accurate, efficient, and evidence-based decisions about which defendants should be detained prior to trial and which can be safely released. These risk assessment tools, such as the Public Safety Assessment developed by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, identify factors that best predict whether a defendant will commit a new crime, commit a new violent crime, or fail to return to court. The legislature further finds that risk assessment tools are cost-effective and objective measures of risk that help judges increase public safety while reducing jail populations.
The legislature also finds that under Hawaii's bail system, low-income individuals are more likely to remain in jail pending trial compared to individuals with greater financial resources. The purpose of this Act is to address bail reform and the financial disparity imposed on low-income individuals by:
(1) Requiring courts to order any person charged with a criminal offense to be released on personal recognizance pending trial, unless the court determines that the person is a flight risk, unlikely to appear for trial, or a danger to others;
(2) Requiring the judiciary to establish and maintain a pretrial services program to conduct pretrial risk assessments for the purpose of making recommendations to courts concerning appropriate pretrial release decisions; and
(3) Repealing state laws relating to bail.
SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
§ -1 Definition. As used in this chapter:
"Verified and eligible defendant" means any person:
(1) Charged with a criminal offense;
(2) Who the pretrial services program is able to interview and assess; and
(3) Whose identity the pretrial services program is able to confirm through investigation.
§ -2 Release on personal recognizance; conditions of release. (a) Any person charged with a criminal offense shall be ordered released by a court of competent jurisdiction pending trial on the person's personal recognizance, unless the court determines in the exercise of its discretion that such a release will not reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required, or the court determines the person is a flight risk or danger to others; provided that bail shall not be allowed. In making its determination, the court shall consider the pretrial risk assessment for the verified and eligible defendant.
(b) If the verified and eligible defendant:
(1) Poses a low risk of flight;
(2) Is likely to appear for trial; and
(3) Is not likely to be a danger to others,
the court shall order the defendant released on the defendant's own recognizance subject to such other non-monetary conditions as the court may order.
(c) If the verified and eligible defendant:
(1) Poses a moderate risk of flight;
(2) Has a moderate risk of not appearing for trial; or
(3) Poses a moderate risk of danger to others,
the court shall release the defendant under the same conditions as subsection (b); provided that the court shall also consider entering an order pursuant to subsection (d).
(d) Upon the verified and eligible defendant's release, the court may enter an order:
(1) Prohibiting the defendant from approaching or communicating with particular persons or classes of persons; provided that no such order should be deemed to prohibit any lawful and ethical activity of defendant's counsel;
(2) Prohibiting the defendant from going to certain described geographical areas or premises;
(3) Prohibiting the defendant from possessing any dangerous weapon, engaging in certain described activities, or indulging in intoxicating liquors or certain drugs;
(4) Requiring the defendant to report regularly to and remain under the supervision of an officer of the court;
(5) Requiring the defendant to maintain employment, or, if unemployed, to actively seek employment, or attend an educational or vocational institution;
(6) Requiring the defendant to comply with a specified curfew;
(7) Requiring the defendant to seek and maintain mental health treatment or testing, including treatment for drug or alcohol dependency, or to remain in a specified institution for that purpose;
(8) Requiring the defendant to remain in the jurisdiction of the judicial circuit in which the charges are pending unless approval is obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction to leave the jurisdiction of the court;
(9) Requiring the defendant to satisfy any other condition reasonably necessary to assure the appearance of the person as required and to assure the safety of any other person or community; or
(10) Imposing any combination of conditions listed above.
§ -3 Pretrial services program; pretrial risk assessment instrument. (a) The judiciary shall establish and maintain a pretrial services program to:
(1) Conduct pretrial risk assessments on verified and eligible defendants for the purpose of making recommendations to the court concerning an appropriate pretrial release decision, including whether the defendant shall be:
(A) Released on the defendant’s own personal recognizance;
(B) Released on a non-monetary condition or conditions; or
(C) Detained; and
(2) Monitor defendants who are released while awaiting trial as ordered by the court.
(b) Pretrial risk assessments shall be conducted using a risk assessment instrument approved by the judiciary that meets the requirements of this subsection. The approved risk assessment instrument shall be objective, standardized, and developed based on analysis of empirical data and risk factors relevant to the risk of:
(2) Failure to appear in court when required; and
(3) Danger to others."
SECTION 3. Chapter 804, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.
SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 5. If any provision of this Act, or the
application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the
invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act that can
be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end
the provisions of this Act are severable.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.
Pretrial Release; Pretrial Risk Assessment; Bail
Requires courts to order any person charged with a criminal offense to be released on personal recognizance pending trial, unless the person is a flight risk, unlikely to appear for trial, or a danger to others. Requires the Judiciary to establish and maintain a Pretrial Services Program to conduct pretrial risk assessments. Repeals state laws relating to bail.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.