STAND. COM. REP. NO. 190

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2023

 

RE: H.B. No. 1133

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Corrections, Military & Veterans, to which was referred H.B. No. 1133 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to:

 

(1) Require and appropriate funds for the provision of free voice communication services in the State's youth and adult correctional facilities;

 

(2) Prohibit state agencies from deriving revenue or financial benefits from the provision of communication services to persons confined in state correctional facilities; and

 

(3) Require the Public Utilities Commission to establish service quality standards and rules for the free voice communication services and submit a report to the Legislature prior to the Regular Session of 2024.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission, Women's Prison Project, and two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Public Safety, State Automated Victim Information and Notification Governance Committee, Hawaii Paroling Authority, Office of Youth Services, Crime Victim Compensation Commission, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Kauai, Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Public Utilities Commission.

 

Your Committee finds that maintaining family and community connections is key to successful reentry for persons who are incarcerated. However, the high cost of jail and prison communication services is a significant economic drain for many incarcerated persons and their families. This measure further ensures that incarcerated persons and their families maintain family relationships, while protecting them from the predatory commercial practices of prison telecom companies.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Specifying that the Office of Youth Services, rather than the Department of Public Safety, shall have operational discretion over the free voice communication services at each Hawaii youth correctional facility;

 

(2) Deleting language that would have required the Public Utilities Commission to establish service quality standards and rules for the free voice communication services and submit a report to the Legislature prior to the Regular Session of 2024;

 

(3) Inserting an appropriation for an unspecified amount for fiscal years 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 for the Hawaii State Automated Victim Information and Notification Program; and

 

(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

Noting concerns raised by the Crime Victim Compensation Commission and others, your Committee respectfully requests your Committee on Finance, should it deliberate on this measure, to consider the cost of the State Automated Victim Information and Notification Program and the possibility of using general funds to fund the program.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Corrections, Military & Veterans that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1133, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1133, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Corrections, Military & Veterans,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

MARK J. HASHEM, Chair