STAND. COM. REP. NO. 683
RE: S.B. No. 1422
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 1422 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to specify that police officers have the discretion to issue citations, in lieu of making a lawful arrest without a warrant, for non-violent class C felonies, misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors, and violations under certain conditions, including that the offense does not involve domestic violence, sexual assault, robbery, or any other offenses under chapter 707, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Office of the Public Defender, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawai‘i Health and Harm Reduction Center, and three individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Paroling Authority and the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.
Your Committees find that section 803‑6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, gives police officers the discretion to issue citations for misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors, and violations. However, police officers are reluctant to exercise this discretion. Your Committees also find that issuing citations in lieu of arresting these non-violent offenders would free up space in police cellblocks, county jails, and courthouse holding cells without jeopardizing public safety.
Your Committees further find that citation issuance is a viable alternative to arrest for low-risk defendants who have not demonstrated a risk of non‑appearance in court, while still protecting the public from the risk of further crime.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1422 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair