STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1937

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 629

H.D. 2

S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 629, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MEDICAL RELEASE,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to create a medical release program within the Department of Public Safety for certain ill, disabled, or impaired inmates who pose a low risk to public safety.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Public Safety, Hawaii Paroling Authority, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, and Oahu County Democrats Legislative Priorities Committee. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.

 

Your Committees find that the United States federal prison system and many states grant some kind of medical or compassionate release. Compassionate release provides physicians and other medical professionals an opportunity to use their unique expertise and knowledge of prognosis, geriatrics, cognitive and functional decline, and palliative medicine to ensure that medical criteria for compassionate release are evidence-based. With this medical information, criminal justice professionals can better determine the degree of risk an inmate poses to public safety and whether or not the inmate should be granted medical release.

 

Your Committees further find that a medical release program would facilitate the humane reunion of incarcerated individuals who pose little to no risk to society with their ohana and community while reducing the various costs associated with prison overcrowding for the State, taxpayers, and other inmates.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by making it effective on March 1, 2020.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 629, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 629, H.D. 2, S.D. 2.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means,

 

________________________________

DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair

 

________________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair