CAPWATCH: Transcript of Decision on HB 462 – 3,000 Bed Prison at Waiawa

CAPWATCHYour voice is changing the conversation! And, that is incredibly important!

As you know, CAP has been super busy at the legislature. Kat is working on the list of bills that we have been working on and will send that out later. Today is what is called FIRST LATERAL. This means that all bills have to have gone through their 1st and/or 2nd committees and be headed for their last committee (JUD (Judiciary) and/or FIN (Finance) in the House and JDL (Judiciary and Labor) and/or WAM (Ways and Means) in the Senate.

But, while Kat is working on that, here is a transcript of the decisionmaking that took place yesterday on one of the worst bills this session – HB 462 – proposing a 3,000 bed prison at Waiawa. The proposal requires the department of public safety to solicit proposals for a new correctional facility at Waiawa Correctional Facility.

Mahalo to all the people who weighed in on this proposal, which is all about a building with absolutely no analysis of who would live there; who should actually be there; and what is needed to address the issues regarding the pathways that send people to prison.

We are making headway on this ill-conceived plan because of your testimony. Here is the transcript:

DECISIONMAKING ON  HB 462 – Thursday, February 16, 2017

CHAIR TAKAYAMA:  You might recall that at the hearing last week the Attorney General while discussing the bill raised an issue that it was a specific bill as opposed to a general bill and raised constitutional issues. The House attorney has cleared the bill. It is still not clear to me why the AG raised the concern on this particular bill, but in any case it is cleared for consideration. Continue reading

CAP Action Alert: Testimony Needed for Bills on Feb. 9, 2017

Bills being heard include the worst bill of the session – HB 462! See below. We need testimony in opposition of this bill!


Rep. Gregg Takayama, Chair
Rep. Matt LoPresti, Vice Chair
Thursday, February 9, 2017
10:00 am
Room 312

HB 1501 Drug Paraphernalia; Possession and Delivery; Civil Violations PBS, JUD
Changes drug paraphernalia possession and delivery offenses from felonies to civil violations. SAN BUENAVENTURA, CREAGAN, EVANS, MIZUNO, NISHIMOTO, TODD, WOODSON, Brower, DeCoite

This bill makes possession of drug paraphernalia a civil fine of $100.

CAP Testimony: 2-9-17-pbs-hb-1501-support

Talking Points:

  • 74% of all people in Hawai`iʻs correctional system are Class C felons, misdemeanants, petty misdemeanants, technical parole and probation violators (many for dirty drug screens)
  • Removing the felony offense and NOT imprisoning people for non-serious offenses could save Hawai`i millions of dollars that could be spent addressing the public health and social challenges many of our people face
  • Research is clear that criminal records are a huge barrier to employment and upward mobility, therefore, reducing this class c felony to a civil violation would prevent lots of harm

*** Continue reading

Very Important Bill in PSM Tomorrow! SB 108 LEAD

ACTION ALERTThis is a late notice,  but we need testimony in support of SB 108! You can go to the Legislative website: and click “Submit Testimony” button on upper right, you can just put in the bill number (SB108) and click “Support” you could jot down a few points in the box (or not) and send it in to be counted.





Sen. Clarence Nishihara, Chair
Sen. Glenn Wakai, Vice Chair
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
1:20 pm
Room 229

SB 108 Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) PSM, JDL/WAM
Requires law enforcement agencies, including county police departments, to make personnel knowledgeable in the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) approach. Requires law enforcement officers, including county police officers, to implement the LEAD approach. K. RHOADS

This bill is about bringing the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD)  program to Hawai`i for a pilot in Honolulu where community groups, service provides, and government agencies have been working since last summer to build the infrastructure..

LEAD is a community-based diversion program for people whose criminal activity is due to behavioral health issues. LEAD is a pre-booking or pre-arrest diversion program. In LEAD, low- level offenders for whom probable cause for arrest exists are diverted from arrest or booking by immediately referring them to harm-reduction, non-abstinence based, individualized case management.

LEAD was intended to demonstrate that non-coercive and non-punitive approaches to currently illegal activities such as drug use and other activities that individuals engage in to obtain funds to purchase drugs (e.g. car prowls, mail theft, prostitution, shoplifting) can be more effectively and humanely addressed outside of the criminal justice system.

CAP Testimony: 2-7-17-psm-sb-108-ss-lead

Talking Points:

  • LEAD is a more humane and compassionate way to address wrong-doing by the most vulnerable people in our community
  • OCCC is bursting with low-level lawbreakers who, with the LEAD program, could be diverted from jail and into community services
  • This could potentially save millions of dollars
  • The LEAD program has been shown to improve relationships between law enforcement and the community
  • The evaluations of the Seattle LEAD Program (started in 2011) show that
  • 55% more people entered treatment
  • 60% less likely to be arrested after being in LEAD
  • 82% were homeless prior to participation; 40% were housed
  • Over 35 jurisdictions are exploring or implementing LEAD


CAP Action Alert: Worst bill of the session! Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

keep corporate prisons out of hawai`i!

This  BAD BILL is being heard in the House Public Safety Committee on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

stop-hb462We need an HONEST analysis of who is in our system. With 74% of the people Class C and below, who would be better served in appropriate community programs, why the push to build a 3,000 bed prison?!

Requires the department of public safety to solicit proposals for a new correctional facility at Waiawa Correctional Facility.TAKAYAMA, CREAGAN, DECOITE, EVANS, LOPRESTI, MIZUNO, THIELEN


This is another proposal with absolutely no forethought, no planning, no analysis. The current OCCC process has been and continues to be an abject failure and they now want more money to plan for more and bigger facilities despite crime at the lowest level in decades! Why do we continue to do corrections the 19th century way? This bill ignores Hawai`i data and continues bilking the taxpayers for a failed system. It again is a top-down approach that ices out the community from any discussion. What is wrong with these folks?! Continue reading

CAP Action Alert: Testimony need for bills Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2017

Wow, things are flying fast and furiously!

Hearings posted for TuesDay, February 7, 2017


ACTION ALERTSen. Clarence Nishihara, Chair
Sen. Glenn Wakai, Vice Chair
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
1:20 pm
Room 229

SB 614 JUSTICE REINVESTMENT: Pre-Trial Risk Assessment; Parole; Sunset; Repeal PSM,JDL/WAM
Deletes the sunset provision for Act 139, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, to make permanent provisions of the Act regarding pretrial risk assessments and parole. NISHIHARA, Baker, Dela Cruz, Inouye, K. Kahele, Kidani, Shimabukuro, Wakai

CAP Testimony: 2-7-17-psm-ss-sb-614

Talking Points

  • Very important bill that eliminates the sunset/repeal of certain sections of the Justice Reinvestment law (Act 139) enacted in 2012.
  • The department has really failed on implementing recommendations of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) and instead is calling all sorts of other things JRI – such as replacing OCCC (despite JRIʻs purpose is to reduce the imprisoned population).
  • We need to support reforms to reduce the imprisonment of low-level lawbreakers sentenced for non-serious offenses in our bloated system

Continue reading

CAPWATCH Updates: Jan. 31 to Feb. 2

CAPWATCHHere is an update on bills that CAP is either watching or testifying on:

SB 503 Health Insurance; Mental Illness Benefits; Covered Services; Case Management Services; Victims of Sexual Violence CPH, WAM
Requires health insurance coverage for case management services by licensed mental health providers for victims of sexual violence. INOUYE, BAKER, ENGLISH, ESPERO, GREEN, KEITH-AGARAN, KIDANI, K. RHOADS, SHIMABUKURO, L. THIELEN, TOKUDA, S. Chang, Ihara, Kim, Kouchi

*1.31.17 CPH PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in CPH were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, Nishihara, Espero, Ruderman; Aye w/res: none ; 0 No: none; 3 Excused: Senator(s) S. Chang, Ihara, Kidani.

Testimony &  Late Testimony


HB 84  Native Hawaiians; Crim Justice; Data Management;  ($)  OMH, JUD, FIN
Authorizes the Department of the Attorney General to administer a statewide program for management of data related to the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice system. Establishes positions. Makes appropriation. GATES, CREAGAN, LOPRESTI, TAKAYAMA



Kat attended the hearing, however, CAP did not offer testimony. The AG’s oral testimony indicated that if the bill passed and they were to put together a database they would then work on their comments on the 2010 OHA report because the testifier said they did not agree with the findings.

  • This is the problem with reopening controversial studies – it gives the opponents another attack opportunity

(The AG representative on the 2012 report said awful things about Hawaiians that prompted several task force members and me to complain to the AG’s office –  nothing happened and this person remained a member.)

  • The state already knows how many Hawaiians are in the criminal justice system, why do they need a database at the AG’s office?
  • The bill could be challenged constitutionally since it targets one particular group.
  • The bill offered no remedy for the overincarceration and overcriminalization of Hawaiians – just a database.
  • If the state wanted to do something to stop this injustice, they could do so right now, no database needed!
  • This is scary in light of federal actions this week. Who’s the next group to be targeted?


SB 417 Children; Schools; Truancy; Informal Adjustment;  JDL
Provides that informal adjustment shall be prioritized over formal action for a child under family court jurisdiction solely as a result of truancy. KEITH-AGARAN, Kidani, Shimabukuro

*1.31.17  JDL PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in JDL were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Keith-Agaran, K. Rhoads, Gabbard, Kim, L. Thielen; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 0 Excused: none.


This bill will cross over as JDL was the only committee referral. The House companion – HB 1344 has a JUD, FIN referral, however, it has not yet been scheduled.


SB 305 Medical Marijuana Dispensary System; Dispensaries; Production Centers; Video Monitoring; Surveillance Recording Retention CPH, JDL
Specifies that video monitoring and recording of medical marijuana dispensary and production center premises shall be retained for a period of forty-five days.  BAKER, Nishihara

*2.1.17 CPH PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in CPH were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, Nishihara, Espero, Ihara, Ruderman; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; 2 Excused: Senator(s) S. Chang, Kidani.

Testimony & Late Testimony


SB 325 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries; Tax Revenues; Mental Health     CPH, WAM
Specifies that ten per cent of tax revenues collected from medical marijuana dispensaries shall be allocated to the mental health and substance abuse special fund. KEITH-AGARAN, Dela Cruz, Green, Kidani

*2.1.17 CPH PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in CPH were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, Nishihara, Espero, Ihara, Ruderman; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; 2 Excused: Senator(s) S. Chang, Kidani.

Testimony & Late Testimony

Kat did not attend the hearing for these two cannabis bills and CAP did not testify. We are following these bills and will be offering testimony later in the session. Too much going on in the justice arena right now!


HB 457 Community Court Outreach Project; Appropriation  JUD, FIN
Establishes a community court outreach project in the City and County of Honolulu, subject to the availability of funds and memoranda of agreements from the Judiciary, Prosecuting Attorney, and the Public Defender. Appropriates funds. TAKAYAMA, CREAGAN, DECOITE, KEOHOKALOLE, LOPRESTI, MIZUNO, NISHIMOTO, OSHIRO, THIELEN, Belatti, Evans, Gates

*2.1.17 JUD PASSED WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 8 Ayes: Representative(s) Nishimoto, San Buenaventura, Belatti, Brower, Johanson, Morikawa, Nakashima, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; Noes: none; 3 Excused: Representative(s) C. Lee, Oshiro, McDermott.


This is the top-down Keith Kaneshiro bill that can work effectively along with LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program to reduce the jail population. The purpose is to:

  • Decrease the backlog of pending, low-level, non-violent cases;
  • Allow offenders to clear their pending cases;
  • Provide court orders for counseling, treatment, and/or referral to homeless services, on a case-by-case basis;
  • Provide consequences through community service instead of incarceration or fines.

The Community Court did not invite the community to participate in its formation so when they handled their first case on January 26th they were scrambling to get outreach workers to the courthouse because everyone was involved in the Point in Time (homeless) count. This is what happens when the community is shut out.

Conversely, the LEAD Hawai`i Hui has been meeting for 7 months and we have been working to build the infrastructure so that the program can succeed. Kat is so proud of our LEADer, Heather Lusk of CHOW, our service providers and outreach workers…they are full of compassion for the most vulnerable people in our community.


HB 589 Judiciary; Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement; ($)      JUD, FIN
Appropriates funds to the Judiciary to retain mental health services and substance abuse treatment for the Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement program, which is an intensive supervisory program for persons on probation. KEOHOKALOLE, ICHIYAMA, MIZUNO, NAKASHIMA, WOODSON

*2.1.17 JUD PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 8 Ayes: Representative(s) Nishimoto, San Buenaventura, Belatti, Brower, Johanson, Morikawa, Nakashima, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; Noes: none; and 3 Excused: Representative(s) C. Lee, Oshiro, McDermott.


There was no opposition to this bill.


HB 307 DOE; Alternative Schools; JJ System; At-Risk Youth; $            EDN, JUD, FIN
Appropriates funds to the department of education for two alternative schools to provide ongoing education to juveniles involved in the justice system or at-risk of involvement in the justice system.  Appropriation.  SOUKI (Introduced by request of another party)



This is the 3rd or 4th year that the prosecutors have been pushing for alternative schools, despite the plethora of research that concludes that aggregating at-risk youth is not a rehabilitative strategy…it promotes criminality. The bill should be called the full employment act for prosecutors. No wonder it is in Kaneshiro’s package! It will probably be back next year.


HB 440 Government Contracts; Out-Of-State Private Prisons              PBS, JUD, FIN
Prohibits government contracts to develop or house inmates in out-of-state private correctional facilities. Clarifies that the State may contract with federal, state, and municipal governments to house inmates and develop correctional facilities. ING, CREAGAN, GATES, LOWEN, WOODSON, DeCoite, Nishimoto


No testimony posted.

Kat’s original read of the bill did not pick up that it was a law being amended to delete “private” correctional facility contracts and that the state could only contract for public prison beds in other states. Luckily a friend urged her to read it again. Mahalo Lorenn! She did and wrote testimony (in the public access room) hours before the hearing asking the committee the ignore my previous testimony (which I sent to the list) and to substitute it with our opposition testimony. Then she testified and apologized for her mis-read and urged the committee to kill the bill. So sorry about that. Good lesson to “Slow down…you’re movin’ too fast…got to make the morning last…”!


HB 845 Inmates; Identification Cards; Reentry; ($)  PBS, JUD, FIN
Requires the Department of Public Safety in collaboration with county and state agencies to issue civil identification cards to inmates and to assist inmates in obtaining their birth certificate, social security card, and other relevant identification necessary for successful reentry.  GATES, CREAGAN, ING, C. LEE, LOWEN, OHNO, TAKAYAMA, DeCoite, LoPresti, Nakamura, Quinlan, Todd, Woodson

*2.2.17 PBS PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 6 Ayes: Representative(s) Takayama, LoPresti, Creagan, DeCoite, Gates, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; Noes: none; 1 Excused: Ing.

No testimony posted.

The Chair announced that the amendments were: to change “less than 6 months on their sentence”  to “less than 1 year on their sentence” and to add “federal”  agencies along with state and county. The amendments are not posted yet, however, Kat is worried because if the amendments are as stated by the Chair – they do not address the problem we and others raised about people on early release such as: work furlough, extended furlough, and community placement. As it reads “on their sentence” could be interpreted to mean their maximum sentence, which would cover the department for not doing it. She’ll let you know when the HD1 is out.


HB 1246 Criminal Offenders; Pre-Trial Release; Alternative Programs; Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance; Appropriation ($)  PBS, JUD, FIN
Expands the authority of DPS to release certain pre-trial detainees and sentenced offenders to include felons. Requires electronic monitoring of released detainees and offenders. Authorizes electronic monitoring of offenders in programs that offer alternatives to incarceration. Appropriates funds. TAKAYAMA, BELATTI, BROWER, CACHOLA, CREAGAN, EVANS, GATES, KEOHOKALOLE, LOPRESTI, MCDERMOTT, NISHIMOTO, SAIKI, SOUKI, DeCoite, Ichiyama, Kobayashi, Todd

*2.2.17 PBS PASSED WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 5 Ayes: Representative(s) Takayama, LoPresti, Creagan; Ayes with reservations:  DeCoite, Gates; 1 Noes: Thielen; and 1 Excused: Ing.

No testimony posted.

Kat was at the hearing, however, CAP did not testify on this bill because last session, a really watered-down bill was passed allowing DPS to release “certain misdemeanants”. They still have not released anyone. They told the Budget committee last month that the first person would be released in February, now I hear they are backpedaling and say that the person will be released in March. (Gotta keep that budget fat).


SB 506 Rape Collection Kits; ReporT; AG; Forensic Evidence           PSM,JDL/WAM
Requires annual reporting to the legislature by the AG of statistical data pertaining to the testing of sexual assault evidence collection kits. Provides certain rights to sexual assault survivors. Institutes mandatory testing requirements in accordance with AG guidelines. Requires AG to report to 2018 legislature on the progress of implementing AG guidelines.  L. THIELEN, BAKER, ESPERO, INOUYE, KEITH-AGARAN, KIM, NISHIHARA, SHIMABUKURO, TOKUDA, Kidani, Kouchi   


Testimony & Late Testimony

Kat was at the hearing; CAP testified in support of the bill. Some of the information that came out during the hearing was shocking: 40% of the rape kits are tossed out by police and 90% of the kits that are kept remain untested. Wow does this seem like there is a concerted effort by law enforcement to solve crimes?


SB 674 Criminal Procedure; Eyewitness Identification  PSM,JDL/WAM
Creates procedural and administrative requirements for law enforcement agencies for eyewitness identifications of suspects in criminal investigations. Establishes jury instructions when the court determines that the eyewitness identification is admissible. Requires the attorney general to establish procedures for the implementation of uniform statewide eyewitness identification procedures. KEITH-AGARAN, Dela Cruz, Gabbard, Nishihara, K. Rhoads, Ruderman, Wakai


Testimony & Late Testimony

CAP will work on getting the amendments we suggested to make the bill stronger.


OCCC Info Briefing

Yesterday, February 2, 2017,  there was an information briefing (and it was brief!) sponsored by the House and Senate Public Safety Committees. The presenters were Nolan Espinda, DPS Director and Bob Nardi, from the infamous overbillers[1], Louis Berger Group. They presented a $1.5 million, 500-page report to the legislature on their progress on the replacement of OCCC. This tends to be the normal strategy of the department with the help of their corporate buddies…bury policymakers in paper (500-page report during busy session with 2,918 bills!), give squishy answers to questions (only estimates, we’re still looking. Blah, blah, blah), and do the soft-shoe shuffle when asked about cost (they’re buried in the report).

Welcome to the post-truth era in Hawai`i. They totally lied (OK, in today’s world it’s called “alternative facts”) about public outreach. Recently the HCR 85 Task Force was asked by Espinda to delete any references to the “lack of community engagement” from their Interim Report.  The “community engagement” they tout has been pathetic. Conversely, the Community Justice Coalition has held 2 Community Justice Dialogues since November that were packed with community folks wanting to know more and to help reform our broken system.  Here is their very expensive 70-page progress report summary.

Here’s a story from Civil Beat about this presentation:

New Oahu Jail Will Cost Hundreds Of Millions
Lawmakers heard cost projections Thursday but it’s too early in the planning process to get a firm estimate.
Rui Kaneya, Civil Beat, Feb. 2, 2017


[1] World Bank Group Debars Louis Berger Group World Bank Group – Feb 4, 2015
WASHINGTON, February 4, 2015—The World Bank Group announced the debarment of Louis Berger Group, Inc. (LBG) for one year for engaging in corrupt practices under two Bank-financed projects in Vietnam.

Former Louis Berger Group Inc. Chairman, CEO, and President Admits 20-Year …
Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog) – Dec 12, 2014
“Two years after the Louis Berger Group and two of its executives confessed to defrauding USAID, the company’s former chairman admitted his role in the scheme,” U.S.

Ex-Louis Berger Group CEO Pleads Guilty in USAID Fraud  Bloomberg

Federal Claims Judge Finds Louis Berger Hid Corruption
Law360 (subscription) – Mar 15, 2016
Law360, Washington (March 14, 2016, 8:11 PM ET) — A Federal Claims judge booted Louis Berger Aircraft Services Inc.

Another Ex-Louis Berger Exec Sentenced In FCPA Case
Law360 (subscription) – Jul 8, 2016

CAPWATCH Action Alert: Upcoming bills posted for Feb. 1 and 2

ACTION ALERTWednesday, February 1, 2017

Hearing Notice


Rep. Roy Takumi, Chair
Rep. Sharon Har, Vice Chair
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
2:00 pm
Room 309

Appropriates funds to the department of education for two alternative schools to provide ongoing education to juveniles involved in the justice system or at-risk of involvement in the justice system.  Appropriation.


This is the 3rd or 4th year that this bad bill keeps surfacing. In the past, it was the Maui prosecutor pushing for it. This session it is in the Honolulu prosecutorʻs package. Continue reading

CAPWATCH Action Alert for Jan. 30 to Feb. 8

ACTION ALERTThere are so many bills. The Senate is up and running with hearings and some of the bills are things that CAP wants to understand better before we step into the fray. We oftentimes sit in on the first committee hearings to gauge testimony without testifying.

Kat did this on Friday with SB 145 – the fitness to proceed bill. After hearing conflicting testimony from DOH and the Chief of Psychiatry at Queens, Kat thinks it is best for CAP to take no position on the bill and let the experts figure it out.

Here is what is on deck for Jan. 30 to Feb. 8  for hearings posted so far… Continue reading