THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2349

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to criminal justice.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that, for incarcerated individuals, contact visitation is an important tool for reducing recidivism. The ability to maintain meaningful connections with family members can make the individual's reintegration into society easier. Studies demonstrate that contact visitation also produces better outcomes for correctional facilities, with incarcerated individuals displaying improved institutional adjustment, better psychological well-being, reduced behavioral infractions, and less frequent violent behavior. The benefits of contact visitations extend to family members, particularly children, and can help to strengthen the parent-child relationship while reducing the trauma children may experience when separated from a parent.

The legislature recognizes that non-contact visitation is currently the practice for at least three facilities operated by the department of public safety. Oahu community correctional center, Maui community correctional center, and Halawa correctional facility all forbid contact visitation.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to codify and reaffirm that contact visitation shall be the policy and practice at all state correctional facilities, in accordance with recognized best practices in criminal justice.

SECTION 2. Section 353-28.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]353-28.5[]] [Visits from family members.] Visitation. (a) Family members shall be allowed to [visit] engage in contact visitation with an inmate at any state correctional facility during official visiting hours.

(b) A visit from a family member shall be preapproved and prescheduled. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, preapproved and prescheduled visits for which family members have incurred substantial costs, including but not limited to travel from a neighbor island or the mainland, shall not be canceled due to staff absenteeism or any nonemergency situation.

(c) All state correctional facilities shall provide each inmate with the opportunity for a minimum of two contact visits per week, with each visit lasting at least one hour. No facility shall:

(1) Prohibit, eliminate, or unreasonably limit contact visitation; or

(2) Coerce, compel, or otherwise pressure an inmate to forego or limit contact visits;

provided that the facility may temporarily suspend visitation privileges during an emergency or for good cause.

(d) Correctional facilities may use video or other types of electronic communication to support inmate visits; provided that such communication shall be in addition to and shall not replace contact visitation.

[(c)] (e) The department shall develop internal policies and procedures consistent with this section.

[(d)] (f) For the purposes of this section, "family members" means persons who are related to each other by blood, marriage, adoption, or legal guardianship, or as reciprocal beneficiaries."

SECTION 3. No later than days after the effective date of this Act, the department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 that provide each inmate at all state correctional facilities with a minimum of two contact visits per week, with each visit lasting at least one hour. Upon adoption, the rules shall be made publicly available and shall be posted on the department's website.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

DPS; Keiki Caucus; Incarceration; Contact Visitation

 

Description:

Requires all state correctional facilities to allow family members to engage in contact visitation with inmates at any state correctional facility during official visiting hours. Provides that the correctional facility shall provide each inmate with the opportunity for a minimum of two in-person, contact visits per week, with each visit lasting at least one hour.

 

 

 

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