STAND. COM. REP. NO. 249
RE: S.B. No. 1243
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 1243 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE PHASEOUT OF PRIVATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require the State to phase out the use of private correctional facilities for incarceration of Hawaii inmates; and
(2) Prohibit the construction of new correctional facilities or the expansion of existing correctional facilities without the approval of the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of the Public Defender; Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Kaua‘i; Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO; Imua Alliance, Community Alliance on Prisons, League of Women Voters, and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Public Safety.
Your Committee finds that the State has relied on contracted private, for-profit prisons to house a significant portion of the State's prison population for more than two decades. Private correctional facilities' goal of generating the greatest possible profit is in direct conflict with providing safe and humane conditions. Your Committee further finds that the inmates who serve their sentences in these out-of-state facilities are effectively exiled thousands of miles away from their families, friends, and crucial support networks. The impacts of this isolation are felt disproportionately by the native Hawaiian inmates, who are significantly more likely to be transferred to out-of-state prisons than inmates of other ethnicities. This measure will phase out the use of private prisons, which will bring out-of-state inmates back to Hawaii and closer to their families, support systems, and local communities.
Your Committee has amended this measure by specifying that beginning July 1, 2022, rather than July 1, 2021, the Director of Public Safety shall commence reducing the number of committed felons incarcerated in private correctional institutions.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1243, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1243, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair