HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

512

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO THE CHILDREN'S JUSTICE PROGRAM.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Chapter 588, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"588-A Confidentiality. (a) The following documents and materials shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed, subject to the exceptions established in subsection (b):

(1) Documents and materials that pertain to specifically‑identified cases or clients, including files, reports, notes, photographs, records, electronic and other communications, working papers, and recordings; and

(2) Documents and materials that comprise client interview guidelines and other interview-related material, as well as all materials used in training forensic interviewers.

(b) Confidential documents and materials may be disclosed only as follows:

(1) To persons employed by the program, or by agencies or providers, who are directly involved in the treatment of the child, or in the investigation, case management, or legal processing of cases under this chapter, including but not limited to law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, health care providers, education officials, and child welfare officials; provided that access to confidential information shall be permitted on a need-to-know basis and limited to the minimal amount of confidential information necessary to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure, or request; or

(2) Pursuant to a court order, after an in camera review of the documents or materials by the court, and upon a showing of good cause by the party seeking the release of the documents or materials."

SECTION 2. Section 588-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) The purpose of the program shall be to:

(1) Develop, achieve, and maintain interagency and interprofessional cooperation and coordination in the investigation of and case management of [intrafamilial and extrafamilial child sex abuse and serious physical child abuse cases;]:

(A) Child abuse or neglect cases, with a priority for cases involving:

(i) Sexual exploitation of a child;

(ii) Serious physical child abuse; or

(iii) Child trafficking; and

(B) Cases involving child witnesses;

(2) Facilitate in an impartial manner the professional gathering of information by public and private agencies and their providers for court proceedings involving child abuse or neglect victims and child witnesses;

(3) [Reduce to the absolute minimum] Minimize the number of interviews of child [sex] abuse or neglect victims [so as] and child witnesses, to [minimize] avoid revictimization of the child;

(4) Coordinate [the] therapeutic and treatment [program] programs for child [sex] abuse or neglect victims and child witnesses, and their families;

(5) Provide for a multidisciplinary team and case management approach [which is focused] that focuses first, on the alleged or suspected child [sex] abuse or neglect victim's and child witness' needs and conditions; second, on the family members who are supportive of the child and whose interests are consistent with the best interests of the child; and third, on law enforcement and prosecutorial needs;

(6) Provide for the training and continuing education of skilled professional interviewers of child [sex] abuse or neglect victims[;] and child witnesses; and

(7) [Serve as the focus of] Provide information and referral for child [sex] abuse or neglect and child witness programs."

SECTION 3. Section 588-1.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]588-1.5[]] Coordination function. (a) The program shall promote the mutual sharing of information among the program and agencies providing services to the child and family, for purposes of implementing this chapter.

(b) [All] The program and all agencies and [their] providers that have information regarding the [mental,] physical or mental health[,] of the child, or other information relating to the best [interest] interests of the child, shall share [the] this information [among the agencies working with the child] with each other, unless otherwise prohibited by federal or state [statute or rule. No agency shall further disclose any confidential information received unless written consent expressly authorizing further disclosure is obtained from the person who is the subject thereof, or disclosure is permitted by law.] law; provided that further disclosure of shared information shall be permitted only to the extent reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes for which the information was provided, and subject to section 588‑A."

SECTION 4. Section 588-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

1. By adding three new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read:

""Child abuse or neglect" means an act or omission that results in "harm," as defined in section 587A-4, to a person under the age of eighteen years.

"Child witness" means a child who is a witness to a crime.

"Program" means the children's justice program."

2. By amending the title to read:

"588-2 Definitions [of child abuse]."

3. By repealing the definition of "child sexual abuse."

[""Child sexual abuse" means any of the offenses described under chapter 707, part V, when committed against a person under the age of eighteen years or as set forth in paragraph (2) of the definition of "harm" in section 587A-4."]

SECTION 5. Section 588-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"588-4 Duties of the director. The director shall:

(1) Enter into agreements with police departments, departments of the prosecuting attorneys and county corporation counsels, the departments of the attorney general, health, and human services, and other public and private agencies, including agreements for the temporary assignment of appropriate personnel from each agency to the program;

(2) Enter into contracts for the provision of specialized training and continuing education for interviewers of child [sex] abuse or neglect victims and child witnesses from both public and private agencies and providers;

(3) Arrange for interviews of child [sex] abuse or neglect victims and child witnesses in an appropriate setting;

(4) Promote interagency cooperation and coordination, including information sharing and gathering, among the public and private agencies and their providers that deliver investigative, case management, and therapeutic services;

(5) Coordinate the flow of information between the agencies responsible for criminal prosecution and the agencies responsible for protective action in civil proceedings, including those professionals providing services to children and their families;

(6) Arrange for the exchange of information, to include statistical data from public and private agencies involved in child [sex] abuse or neglect and child witness programs and issues;

(7) Develop recommendations and plans for action to assist [the] public and private agencies involved in cases of child [sex] abuse or neglect and [serious physical] child [abuse;] witnesses; and

(8) Prepare and maintain records and reports for the program."

SECTION 6. In codifying the new section added by section 1 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute an appropriate section number for the letter used in designating the new section in this Act.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Judiciary Package; Children's Justice Program; Purpose; Confidentiality

 

Description:

Clarifies the purpose of the Children's Justice Program. Limits disclosure of confidential information.

 

 

 

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