STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3280
RE: S.B. No. 2523
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2523 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Director of Public Safety to include in the report regarding a death at a correctional facility or a community correctional center that is submitted to the Governor, a description of the circumstances and cause of death of the individual in a manner that does not identify the decedent.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Community Alliance on Prisons, Hui Aloha ‘Āina o Ka Lei Maile Ali‘i, and six individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Public Safety.
Your Committee finds that, according to the testimony of the Department of Public Safety, the Department of the Attorney General has cautioned that release of certain information regarding the death of incarcerated persons, including the decedent's name, may be in violation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. However, your Committee further finds that the Arizona Department of Corrections and Nevada Department of Corrections currently post information on their respective websites listing the deaths of incarcerated persons, including the person's name. Your Committee believes that the Department of Public Safety should be required to demonstrate similar transparency and release the name of any incarcerated person who dies while in the custody of the Department.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Requiring the Director of Public Safety to include the name of the decedent in the report;
(2) Inserting an effective date of June 18, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2523, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2523, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair