S.B. NO.














relating to restorative justice.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that restorative justice programs aim to address unresolved issues confronting victims, offenders, and their families. These programs bring offenders, victims, and their respective personal supporters together in a carefully managed, safe environment. The process is a powerful healing tool and a way to empower victims to make decisions about how to repair the harm caused by offenses. Participation in a program is voluntary and available only to those victims who choose to participate, and the program is available to those inmates who want to reconcile with their victims.

The legislature further finds that typically, a restorative justice program begins when an incarcerated person requests restorative justice from that inmate's case worker. An impartial, trained, and experienced community facilitator then meets with the inmate to discuss the program's goals and process and identifies whom the inmate has harmed by the inmate's past behavior and whom the inmate wants to invite for support. The parties then meet, with half of the time devoted to reconciliation and the other half devoted to developing a reentry transition plan for the inmate. If successful, restorative justice can lead to the transformation of people, relationships, and communities. Restorative justice can also reduce crime, reduce repeat offending, divert individuals from the criminal justice system, reduce the costs of criminal justice, reduce crime victims' desire for violent revenge against their offenders, and provide both victims and offenders with more satisfaction than traditional criminal justice allows.

The legislature also finds that the restorative reentry circles pilot program at the Waiawa correctional facility, based upon restorative justice principles, has resolved ninety incidents with a one hundred per cent satisfaction rate reported by the participating victims, offenders, and prison staff. The pilot program has been highlighted by the Federal Probation Journal, Honolulu Magazine, and KITV News and has expanded to the women's community correctional center.

The purpose of this Act is to establish a restorative justice pilot program within the judiciary.

SECTION 2. (a) The judiciary shall establish a five-year pilot program to allow defendants in criminal cases and their victims to participate in restorative justice; provided that any defendant in a criminal case involving a charged offense classified as a class A or B felony or that is a violent crime shall not be eligible to participate in the pilot program.

(b) During or prior to a pretrial conference held pursuant to rule 17.1 of the Hawaii rules of penal procedure, the court shall inform each eligible defendant of the right to request restorative justice.

(c) A defendant's participation in the pilot program shall require court approval and agreement of the victim.

(d) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary and upon successful completion of any restorative justice process, approval of the victim, and approval of the prosecuting attorney, the court may dismiss the charged offense or offenses.

(e) The judiciary shall inform the following individuals in writing of the existence of the pilot program:

(1) The attorney general;

(2) The public defender;

(3) The prosecuting attorneys of each county; and

(4) The registered members of the criminal justice and corrections section of the Hawaii State Bar Association.

(f) The judiciary shall submit interim reports of the pilot program to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, and shall submit a final report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2024. The reports shall include information and recommendations about the efficacy of and the costs associated with the pilot program. The final report shall also include a recommendation on whether the pilot program should be made permanent.

(g) For the purpose of this Act:

"Restorative justice" shall include restorative dialogues, restorative conferences, restorative justice circles, restorative sessions, native Hawaiian reconciliation practices such as hooponopono, or any type of restorative justice group process.

"Violent crime" shall mean the crimes enumerated in section 351-32, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the restorative justice pilot program.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the judiciary for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.








Report Title:

Restorative Justice; Pilot Program; Judiciary; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Appropriation



Requires the Judiciary to establish a 5-year pilot program for restorative justice. Requires the judiciary to inform various criminal attorneys of the existence of the pilot program. Appropriates funds.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.