STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1203
RE: H.B. No. 824
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 824, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MEDICAL RELEASE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to create a medical or compassionate release program for certain ill or impaired inmates who pose a low risk to public safety.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Public Safety, Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission, and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Paroling Authority.
Your Committee finds that compassionate release allows inmates who have complex medical needs to spend their remaining days outside of jail or prison in the company of their family and friends. Inmates with complex medical needs are not only some of the costliest individuals to house within jails and prisons, but are also the least likely to pose any threat to society once released. Your Committee believes that inmates should be released when they are too debilitated to commit further crimes, too compromised to benefit from rehabilitation, or too impaired to be aware of punishment. This measure will reduce the prison population, reduce costs to the Department of Public Safety, and elevate a level of humanity in corrections that aligns with a rehabilitative and therapeutic model.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 824, H.D. 2, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs,
GLENN WAKAI, Chair