HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

166

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

urging the judicial branch of the state of hawaii to utilize Act 277 of the 2019 legislative session in lieu of no cash bail.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, the inability to post bail has caused overcrowding in our prison system, affecting upwards of 50% of pretrial detainees; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaii taxpayers pay over $250 per day per prisoner; and

 

WHEREAS, calls for reforming the bail system continue to be a topic of frequent discussion, with the Hawaii State Legislature addressing the matter with the passage of SB192 in 2019, later becoming Act 277; and

 

WHEREAS, Act 277, now included in the Hawaii Revised Statutes as 804-9.5, authorizes for defendants to be released on unsecured financial bonds under certain circumstances; and

 

WHEREAS, the implementation of this statute has been slow at best, and even without seeing its efficacy, has already been overshadowed by attempts to pass more extreme policies, such as no cash bail; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaii Revised Statutes 804-9.5 offers financially challenged defendants, following careful consideration of factors including prior criminal record, employment, family relationships, and the results of a pretrial risk assessment, the ability to be released on an unsecured bond for all or part of the bond amount; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaii Revised Statutes 804-9.5 allows for defendants to sign a promissory note (IOU) for release, for which their bond obligation will be absolved upon their court appearance, and if they fail to appear, would then become liable for the bond amount; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaii Revised Statutes 804-9.5 has thus already authorized our courts to implement a "no cash bail" system, taking financial and safety considerations in mind, without needing to legislate more sweeping measures; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2023, that this body urges the Judicial Branch of the State of Hawaii to implement 804-9.5 in cases where the release of an economically challenged defendant on unsecured bond would alleviate our prison population concerns and save taxpayers money without endangering the public; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the State of Hawaii Judiciary System, the Prosecuting Attorney of each of the four counties, members of the Hawaii State House of Representatives, and members of the Hawaii State Senate.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Urging the Judicial Branch of the State of Hawaii to utilize Act 277 of the 2019 Legislative Session in lieu of no cash bail.