HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

796

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

H.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO CORRECTIONAL FACILITY AND COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL CENTER DEATHS.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the public has a compelling interest in the timely reporting of the deaths of inmates and others at the State's correctional facilities and community correctional centers. This compelling interest includes oversight responsibilities of the legislature.

The purpose of this Act is to update the reporting requirements of the department of public safety when inmate and employee deaths occur at correctional facilities and community correctional centers, including:

(1) Requiring the race of the decedent to be included in the report;

(2) Requiring the report to cite any authority relied upon by the director of public safety in determining that information to be included in the report is protected by state or federal law; and

(3) Making a copy of the report public and readily available first to the family member or other person designated by the decedent and then to the press upon the director of public safety's receipt of the medical examiner's report, subject to certain conditions.

SECTION 2. Section 353C-8.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]353C-8.5[]] Correctional facility and community correctional center deaths; reporting. (a) Within forty-eight hours, the director shall report to the governor, and the governor shall report to the legislature, the death of any:

(1) Correctional facility or community correctional center employee who dies on the grounds of or while on duty at a correctional facility or community correctional center where Hawaii inmates reside or who sustains an injury on the grounds of or while on duty at a correctional facility or community correctional center where Hawaii inmates reside that causes the death of the employee; or

(2) Hawaii inmate who is incarcerated in a state or contracted correctional facility[.] or community correctional center.

(b) The report in subsection (a) shall include the following information:

(1) The name of the decedent;

(2) The gender and age of the decedent;

(3) Whether the decedent was an inmate or an employee;

(4) The location [of] where the death or injury leading to the death[;] occurred;

(5) The date and time of the death;

(6) The cause of death; [and]

(7) The race of the decedent; and

[(7)] (8) Any indication of sexual assault leading to the death;

provided that when the official cause of death has been determined, the director shall immediately report the official cause of death to the governor, and the governor shall immediately report the official cause of death to the legislature.

(c) Within thirty days of a death described in subsection (a), the director shall submit a report to the governor, and the governor shall submit the report to the legislature, of the clinical mortality review conducted in response to the death, including correctional actions to be taken.

(d) The director shall not have the discretion to withhold disclosure of the decedent's name or any information, unless the name or information is otherwise protected from disclosure by state or federal laws[.]; provided that the report shall cite the state or federal law the director relied upon to withhold disclosure.

(e) Upon receipt of the report from the medical examiner, the director shall make a copy of the report required by subsection (a) public and readily available first to the family member or other person designated by the decedent and then to the press; provided that the director may withhold information related to an ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution or information that shall otherwise remain confidential in order to avoid the frustration of a legitimate government function.

(f) For the purposes of this section, "family member" means the decedent's spouse or reciprocal beneficiary, as defined in section 572C-3, and any child, parent, grandparent, or sibling of the decedent, and the spouses or reciprocal beneficiaries of these persons."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 3050.



 

Report Title:

Correctional Inmates and Employees; Deaths; Reporting; PSD

 

Description:

Updates reporting requirements by the PSD when inmate and employee deaths occur at correctional facilities and community correctional centers. Requires the report to include the race of the decedent. Requires the report to cite to any authority relied upon by the PSD in determining that information is protected by state or federal law. Provides for disclosure of the report, subject to certain conditions. Effective 7/1/3050. (HD2)

 

 

 

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