What does the DOJʻs announcement actually mean?

Todayʻs stories are follow ups to yesterdayʻs Justice Department announcement about ending their contracts with private/corporate prisons. The stock of CCA, GEO and MTC, the profiteers with whom DOJ contracts took a nose dive after the announcement.

While we are happy that this announcement was made, it is not the be-all and end-all for these shysters. CAVEAT EMPTOR – LET THE BUYER BEWARE! Watch how they try to convince jurisdictions that they should be granted contracts for reentry services. This is worrisome since Hawai`iʻs half-hearted “commitment” to reentry is limping along. (The reentry bill was passed in 2007.) These snake-oil salesman will be working double-time to gain reentry contracts.

The first article is from Civil Beat and highlights the fact that Hawai`i just signed a 3- year contract with 2 one-year extensions with CCA. The second article is an analysis of what the DOJʻs announcement actually means.

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Justice Department Will Stop Using Private Prisons
The federal government’s decision comes a couple of weeks after Hawaii extended its contract with a for-profit prison in Arizona.
Rui Kaneya, Civil Beat, August 19, 2016

***

What You Need to Know About the Private Prison Phase-Out
With the feds cutting back, the companies are down but not out.
Maurice Chammah, The Marshall Projcet, August 18, 2016

 

 

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“We ought to commit ourselves to building a human rights movement – FOR EDUCATION, NOT INCARCERATION; FOR JOBS, NOT JAILS A movement that will end legal discrimination against people released from prison, discrimination that denies them human rights to work, to shelter, to education, to food.” – Michelle Alexander

 

Meeting Notice: Program Committee of the HCR 85 Effective Incarceration Task Force

YOUR VOICE MATTERSThis notification is for the Program Committee of the HCR 85 Effective Incarceration Task Force (formerly called the Prison Reform Task Force, then the Corrections Task Force). The community needs to speak up at these meetings (although we have been put at the end of the agenda) because the goal of this task force is to build more jail beds…not reform a broken system.

Program Subcommittee Meeting
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
2:00-3:30 p.m.
Capitol in Senate room 225
.

YAY! DOJ will end the use of corporate prisons!

Today we CELEBRATE that the Justice Department will end the use of private/corporate prisons!

Sadly, Hawai`i just signed a new contract with CCA to incarcerate our people in their dungeons, despite the fact that 74% of our imprisoned population are Class C felons, misdemeanants, petty misdemeanants, parole and probation violators.

Letʻs celebrate that that at least the federal government has seen the problems in these facilities and decided to discontinue renewal of their contracts while Hawai`i has ignored these problems for 21 years.

***

Justice Dept. says it will end use of private prisons
Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, August 18, 2016

Excerpt:
“The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.”

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Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons
Jessie Hellmann, thehill.com, August 18, 2016

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Mahalo to all the people of conscience who have spoken out against the corporate takeover of justice. THIS IS YOUR VICTORY!

On behalf of all our people inside these profit-making prisons and their families, many who donʻt see their loved ones for years, MAHALO NUI LOA FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

 

Lessons From Norway’s Prison System

imageToday we feature a story from Huffington Post on Norway’s prison system, where incarcerated people are treated like human beings! Imagine what would happen in Hawai`i if we actually developed a real philosophy that considered all imprisoned people as our neighbors? They will be, as more than 95% of imprisoned people will return to our communities.

This story is long, but worth reading as Hawai`i’s administration is pushing to increase the size of OCCC and is salivating about building more facilities while jurisdictions around the world are developing strategies that reduce their imprisoned populations. This is what happens when punishment is heaped on top of incarceration (loss of liberty IS punishment) and is more important than restoring lives.

Hawai`i sent a delegation to Norway (Kat hasn’t seen a report on that trip yet) and they saw the evidence presented in this article for themselves. Below are some excerpts from the article. It is long, however, we encourage you to read it and help us bring some sanity to this administration’s wrong-headed and secret direction.

Norway Proves That Treating Prison Inmates As Human Beings Actually Works

“Treat people like dirt, and they will be dirt. Treat them like human beings, and they will act like human beings.”

08/03/2016 08:59 am ET, HuffPOst
Baz Dreisinger, Associate professor of English, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

BASTOY ISLAND, Norway ― “Prison?” I asked the two deckhands, after a train carried me to the ferry. …

Excerpts:

“In Norway, when you’re released, you’re released,” he replied. “No big stigma. One guy I know spent 18 years in prison and is now living in my neighborhood. A normal old guy. No one cares. You find this a lot. I have many friends who’ve been to prison. Norwegians are very forgiving people.” He paused. “Strange because we weren’t always like that.”

“That’s an understatement. This is the land of the pillaging Vikings and of the Nordic sagas, depicted on wooden friezes outside Oslo’s city hall, which I had visited the other day. The sagas are long tales of violence, murder, jealousy and revenge, and it’s fascinating to think that somewhere deep in Norway’s past, a social tide turned, and a culture of peace and forgiveness came to triumph.

“Over lunch, Tom continued to impress me. He explained that although the ‘conservative’ party here would be considered liberal anywhere else and in general, the left and the right agree on the main threads of correctional policy, an influx of immigrants, rising xenophobia and conservative politics lately threaten to undermine the country’s progressive system and soft-on-crime approach. An anti-immigration Progress Party, part of the conservative-led government, is promoting a backlash against what’s known as ‘naving,’ or living off welfare ― NAV is the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration. In recent years, a local newspaper claimed that 80 percent of Norwegians want stricter punishments, and a 2010 survey showed that a majority felt punishments were generally too lenient.

“’It’s your media that’s also responsible,’ Tom said, biting into a slice of whole-grain toast with brown cheese. “American TV shows about tough prisons and talk about being ‘tough on crime.’ It influences people here. But thankfully that’s started to change. All the bad press in the past few years from you guys has started to make us not take you all so seriously anymore. Especially in elections. In the political speeches, those biblical references by a secular country? And Sarah Palin? People are laughing and also crying ― this is a country we want to imitate?”

(…)

study of home leave in Germany, I said, found that the failure-to-return rate amounts to a mere 1 percent.

“’Exactly,’ Tom nodded. ‘Here there were instances where prisoners committed crime while on home leave, but so few of them. You can’t construct a whole justice system around one or two exceptions.’

“ ‘I tell people, we’re releasing neighbors every year. Do you want to release them as ticking time bombs? Is that who you want living next to you? Hey’ ― he put down his toast ― ‘have you seen the film about the warden from Attica, New York?’

“A recent Finnish documentary depicts a former Attica superintendent’s tour of Halden, another prison in Norway focused on rehabilitation. Where the Norwegian officials see rehabilitation and correction, the American saw risk and danger. While Halden staff interacting with prisoners ― playing cards, for example ― is a vital part of Halden’s ideology, the American superintendent said that’s not allowed at the Attica prison.

(…)

“Nothing represents the Norwegian way like its prison system, which has adopted a ‘principle of normality,’ according to which punishment is the restriction of liberty itself and which mandates that no one shall serve their sentence under stricter circumstances than is required by the security of the community.

“Criminologist John Pratt summed up the Scandinavian approach using the term ‘penal exceptionalism,’ referring to these countries’ low rates of imprisonment and humane prison conditions. Prisons here are small, most housing fewer than 100 people and some just a handful. They’re spread all over the country, which keeps prisoners close to their families and communities, and are designed to resemble life on the outside as much as possible.

“An incarcerated person’s community continues to handle his health care, education and other social services while he’s incarcerated. The Norwegian import model, as it is known, thus connects people in prison to the same welfare organizations as other citizens and creates what’s called a seamless sentence ― a person belongs to the same municipality before and after prison. Sentences here are short, averaging an estimated eight months, as compared to America, where the estimated average sentence was 4.5 years in 2012. Almost no one serves all his time, and after one-third of it is complete, a person in prison can apply for home leave and spend up to half his sentence off the premises.

“And the most highly touted aspect of the humane Norwegian prison system is the fact that it seems to work. Crime rates are very low, and the recidivism rate is a mere 20 percent.”

It is going to take all of us and more to put things right in Hawai`i. As this article and many others have highlighted, good things are happening around the world to improve the quality of justice. Sadly, Hawai`i is stuck on retribution rather than restoration. WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT – WE CAN, AND MUST, CHANGE THIS!

Notes from 8.1.16 Program Committee Mtg of HCR 85 Corrections Task Force

Here are the notes from Monday’s Program Committee Meeting. This memo from the newly appointed Chair really sets the right tone. As you will see from the notes, some members are just intent on incarceration despite the fact that 74% of the people incarcerated are C felons, misdemeanants, petty misdemeanants, probation and parole violators. We need to seriously educate these folks, if that is at all possible.

On another note, there was supposed to be a Research subcommittee, but that has now become the Education committee (with no pushback from anyone!).

It can be frustrating, but it is important to attend these meetings and voice our concerns. Kat has tried to just listen and say little at the first couple of meetings but frankly, she’s bursting!

 ***

NOTES FROM PROGRAM COMMITTEE OF HCR 85 CORRECTIONS TASK FORCE

August 1, 2016 Meeting

Present:  Justice Wilson (Chair of HCR 85 Task Force), James Hirano, Matt Taufetee, Sen. Nishihara, Rep. Takayama, Keith Kaneshiro, Bob Merce, Sidney Nakamoto 

There were people in the audience who were not allowed participation as we had been promised. The community was again relegated to comments at the end of the meeting. IT APPEARS WE ARE LOCKED OUT OF THIS ENTIRE PROCESS. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IS IN THE “THANK YOU FOR SHARING, NOW SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP” SECTION OF MEETINGS AND TO TESTIMONY AT PUBLIC HEARINGS THAT WE ARE TOLD WILL BE HELD.

Chair Wilson opened the meeting at 2 pm.

The Chair reported on the status of the Hawaiian Subcommittee meetings. It was announced that the date for the Hawaiian Subcommittee Public Hearing originally scheduled for Saturday, August 27 will be rescheduled. He said that the committee’s 3 priorities were:

  1. Change the culture in the system to Aloha,
  2. Support funding for correctional staff training, and
  3. Support transition funding to help those reintegrating with their communities in the areas of employment and treatment.

The committee elected a Chair and Co-Chair. Bob Merce is the Chair and James Hirano is Co-Chair of the Program Subcommittee.

After Bob took the reins as Chair, the committee had a brief discussed what they thought the role of the subcommittee should be. Chair Wilson thought there should be a discussion of the logistics.

Bob handed the committee a four-page memo (attached) that he produced with his thoughts about the role of the Program Subcommittee. He spoke about developing a set of principles:

  1. Philosophy: Human and humane approach to corrections
  2. Punishment: Incarceration ISthe punishment
  3. Normality: As feasible, prison/jail should mirror the outside world
  4. Policies:  Should be based on evidence, job training, therapy, mastery of life skills, evaluations, highly trained staff, focus on reentry/reintegration

Several suggestions were made to establish a baseline of all evidence-based programs that are currently operational. The committee should focus on reentry, Justice Reinvestment (Warden Hirano said MCCC has been doing this for 20 years – interesting since JRI started in 2005!), and restitution.

PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE Kaneshiro bragged about his stint as director of Public Safety and the drug treatment programs HE had. He mentioned that Halawa had a drug treatment module, however, when KASHBOX opened at Waiawa, that became the drug treatment program for O`ahu facilities.

KASHBOX used to have a 12-step program that is not in existence now due to a constitutional challenge (separation of state and church).

He pontificated about bringing in Nainoa Thompson and some of the crew of Hokulea to Waiawa to teach navigational skills to the men and HE also a baking program at WCCC. There was also Hawai`i Correctional Industries (HCI) but the program faltered when CCA took their best workers.

It was suggested that job fairs be held at facilities where people would be ready to transition to the community. Bringing employers and unions to meet people who would soon be returning to their communities.

The Track 4 (incarceration) of the Maui Drug Court Program was discussed and it was reported that 90% of the people in Drug Court go through this program. It was mentioned that there was a need for an in and out component.

This is where the committee showed its real intent, they LOVED the Track 4. No one questioned why 90% of the people in the Maui Drug Court are placed in Track 4 (they relapsed) but they seemed to love the lock `em up part! It was suggested that we might separate modules for the various specialty court clients: i.e. Drug Court, Veteranʻs Court, Mental Health Court and Takayama suggested that the new OCCC could have a similar unit to MCCC. So the intent of this task force appears to be build, build, build. Helping our people struggling with various challenges like mental health issues, substance disorders, poverty, and houselessness? Not so much.

A member wondered the % of people on parole or probation who are revoked for a dirty drug screen. A discussion ensued about the 20,000 people on probation and the impossible number of cases each probation officer has – up to 220 cases. Nakamoto said Adult Production does risk assessments and they focus on the high and medium risk individuals, approximately 60% have co-occurring disorders (substance disorder and mental health issue such as depression).

Hirano said that on Maui, as a person approaches Minimum custody, a program committee sees the person to determine if they are ready to be released.

It was noted that the average literacy level of incarcerated people is 5th or 6th grade.

Takayama suggested that the Program Chair contact the Chair of the Reentry Commission, Wendell Murakawa.

Nishihara mentioned that leadership is talking about bringing in mainland experts.

The next meeting of the PROGRAM SUBCOMMITTEE is
TUESDAY, AUGUST 23RD IN ROOM 225 at 2 pm

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

CCA Is Not Reporting Disease Cases To Health Agency

Today we feature a continuing story by Civil Beat on Valley Fever. It is so important that people know what is going on since this administration just extended the Corrections Corporation of America contract.

Since we are knowingly sending our people into harmʻs way and the state is liable for the care of people in its custody (even if they try to abrogate their responsibility to CCA), the state must address the health needs of our people returning from Arizona.

Furthermore, the state must do a way better job of monitoring CCA operations and the health care and other contracted services this VENDOR supposedly provides.

The other important aspect to this issue is the stateʻs responsibility to its citizens. Many people returning from Arizona have maxed out (served their maximum sentence) and come directly into the community. A doctor contacted Kat and said:

Of note (and perhaps relevance), the AZ prisons only kept the “healthy” inmates and sent those that were ill back to Hawaii. So we may have received undiagnosed Valley Fever. It would be good practice to start testing patients who meet the criteria upon their return from AZ.

The state now knows that their secret is out. As the doctor cited above recommended, the state should test people who meet the criteria to ensure that they are not releasing infected people into the community without proper treatment.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!

Now the department is in a pickle for not being forthcoming. We don’t yet know how many people in Hawai`i were or are infected as rumors have been circulating about valley fever for at least 10 years. The department’s inaction puts the community’s health at risk. Shameful!

Arizona Prison Is Not Reporting Disease Cases To Health Agency
There’s no record that Corrections Corporation of America ever told a county health agency about valley fever cases for Hawaii prisoners.
Rui Kaneya, Civil Beat, Aug. 3, 2016

August 3, 2016 · By Rui Kaneya 

Excerpt: “In an apparent violation of Arizona regulations, Corrections Corporation of America, the largest for-profit prison company in the country, is failing to report the cases of valley fever among Hawaii inmates at the Saguaro Correctional Center.”

 

Valley Fever Risk Won’t Slow Flow Of Hawaii Inmates To Arizona
Hawaii may soon face legal claims over prisoners infected with valley fever, a disease endemic in the Southwest.
Rui Kaneya, Civil Beat, July 22, 2016

Excerpt:
“Wayne Hunt is worried. For months, he’s been battling lingering flu-like symptoms. He is constantly short of breath. He feels weak, exhausted. He’s even coughing up blood.

“Hunt knows exactly what’s ailing him: valley fever, an insidious airborne fungal disease he picked up at the Saguaro Correctional Center, an Arizona prison where he is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder.

“For a long stretch, Hunt has tried to work through the system to get a transfer back to Hawaii, where he believes he’ll get better care.

“But now, still stuck in Saguaro, Hunt is exploring legal action to force his transfer.

“And Hunt is not alone.

Honolulu attorney Myles Breiner is preparing to file a class-action lawsuit, on behalf of Hunt and other prisoners, seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as the return of all Hawaii prisoners from Saguaro.”

 

A Deadly Dust Is Plaguing Hawaii Prisoners In AZ
Valley fever is widespread in the Southwest, yet Hawaii prison officials haven’t paid much attention to it, despite the recent deaths of at least two prisoners who had the disease.
Rui Kaneya, Civil Beat, June 27, 2016

 

Excerpt:
“In Arizona, valley fever is rampant across the Sonoran Desert, which covers a wide swath of the state — including its two biggest cities, Phoenix and Tucson. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5,600 Arizona residents got infected in 2014, accounting for more than two-thirds of the reported cases nationwide.”

Hawai`i extends CCA VENDOR contract

Todayʻs post is a story from Civil Beat about the new contract the state signed with its VENDOR, Corrections Corporations of America (CCA).

This is infuriating since the departmentʻs own numbers show that 74% of people incarcerated by Hawai`i are classified as C felons (the lowest felony) and below. Saguaro is a medium security prison. Mixing classifications is against all correctional best practices. Three of our people have died brutally at Saguaro and there have been lots of contract violations that, when asked, the department says are resolved because CCA calls and tells them it is so!

The only changes in the contract are that CCA must be fully compliant with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (to which Hawai`i itself is non-compliant) and adding ladders for bunk beds. When CCA either understaffs the mandatory posts or fails to place qualified prisoners into the residential drug treatment program within 30 days, Hawai`i can claim liquidated damages. But how would we know these things are happening or not happening? There is apparently an on-site monitor at Saguaro that Hawai`i pays for, but when Kat asks the men who this person is, they have never seen her or heard of her. Seems she is monitoring her paycheck.

There should be mandatory reporting from a monitor on Hawai`iʻs payroll, however, Kat canʻt find any reports filed by any on-site monitor in Arizona ever. It is laughable that Hawai`i would ever penalize this VENDOR; CCA has never been penalized despite the numerous lawsuits that the taxpayers have been burdened with. Other jurisdictions have meted out penalties for contract violations, but as the 2010 Hawai`i audit revealed, the department has an all-too-cozy relationship with this VENDOR.

Hawaii Re-Ups With Arizona Prison For $45 Million Per Year
The Saguaro Correctional Center currently houses an average of 1,338 Hawaii inmates, but that will go up to as many as 1,926.
Rui Kaneya, Civil Beat, August 1, 2016

“Now it’s official: Hawaii will continue housing hundreds of inmates on the mainland — at an estimated cost of nearly $45 million a year.

“The Hawaii Department of Public Safety awarded a new, three-year contract last week to Nashville, Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America, the largest for-profit prison company in the country, to house up to 1,926 Hawaii prisoners in Arizona.”

CAPWATCH 2016 Session Wrap-Up

CAPWATCHAll 5 of our bills have now been sent to the Governor and his policy staff is now reviewing them.

In addition to the 7 measures that emerged from conference committee (the 5 on the Gov’s desk; the $1.1 million in budget for homeless youth (as in HB 1774) and Act 34 (SB 2916) that was signed into law on April 29th), we also worked on 3 resolutions that passed:

HCR 4 – REQUESTING THE AUDITOR TO AUDIT THE ASSET FORFEITURE PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HCR4_.pdf
This is a long-overdue audit of this program that has earned Hawai`i a “D” in a 2010 and ranked us even lower – “D-“ –  in 2016 for its civil forfeiture laws because of:

  • Low bar to forfeit and no conviction required
  • Poor protections for innocent third-party property owners
  • 100% of forfeiture proceeds go to law enforcement

 

HCR 85 HD2 SD1 – REQUESTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A TASK FORCE TO STUDY EFFECTIVE INCARCERATION POLICIES TO IMPROVE HAWAII’S CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM.
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HCR85_SD1_.pdf
The last committee added the amendments we suggested – adding OHA and a formerly incarcerated woman since the needs of men and women are different.

 

HCR 127 HD1 SD1 – REQUESTING THE LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU TO CONDUCT A STUDY ON THE POTENTIAL IMPACT ON ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL SYSTEMS OF STATE GOVERNMENT OF DECRIMINALIZING THE ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DRUGS FOR PERSONAL USE IN HAWAII.
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HCR127_SD1__.pdf
This resolution has been substantially weakened to look at only Class C and lower marijuana offenses, review Portugal’s decriminalization policies and explore the impacts of decriminalization.

 

2 other bills that we worked on passed their committees: both were for low income renter’s credits –  HB 2166 and SB 2833 (which morphed into a developers’ bill so we let go). CAP co-signed letters with Appleseed on HB 2166 and were sad that it never got scheduled for conference. People exiting incarceration are generally at the low end of the economic spectrum so every little bit helps.

There was a substantial amount of money appropriated to address the thousands of people who live unsheltered in Hawai`i nei ($12m). CAP asserts that until we address poverty, we will never see our way out of the social morass that our neglect has caused. Our legislators need to hear your voice (don’t be trumped). Our message must be that WE ARE HERE, ALL OF US, and our elected officials must HEAR us: STOP MAKING HAWAI`I A PLAYGROUND FOR THE SUPER-RICH! TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE.

Here is Civil Beat’s story on the session…

2016 Legislature: A Session Of Progress — For The Most Part
Lawmakers didn’t address all the issues Hawaii needed, but on school AC, affordable housing and more, they made a welcome difference.
MAY 9, 2016 · By The Civil Beat Editorial Board

Mahalo for caring about our communities – our world. The Legislature can be very frustrating, but it is a venue where the people can be heard. Being respectful, knowledgeable about the issues you are working on, and sharing aloha can gain allies in very unusual places. Justice is non-partisan. It is a human issue. Mahalo for caring. No Justice – No Peace.

CAPWATCH Status Update 5.3.16

CAPWATCHCAPWATCH STATUS UPDATE

May 3, 2016

 

From Kat:

We are almost home. All 5 of our bills up for final reading today PASSED! I am so happy that wrongfully imprisoned people will be compensated for the harms caused by the state. Itʻs a long-time coming, and I am so happy that the state stepped up to admit their wrongdoing.

 TOGETHER WE STOPPED THE OCCC BILL so we have time to push for more effective alternatives to incarceration and better, more effective ways of addressing wrongdoing in our communities. The legislature was suspect of the over-priced public project and thatʻs good. MCCC got a load of money – $200 million I think. MCCC is a mess and way over-crowded, but again, should we be building jails and prisons for people struggling with mental illness, illiteracy, substance abuse, unemployment and poverty or should we be finding better solutions to assist our struggling community members and lift people out of poverty?

The next deadlines are: 1) The Governor has 45 days from the end of session (May 5th) to sign, veto or let a bill become law without his signature, 2) Governor has until the end of June to let the legislature know that he intends to veto bills, at which time the legislature can decide to convene a veto session or not.

CAP did quite well this session, getting 7 pieces of legislation passed – actually 6 bills – 5 passed today, SB 2916 that was signed into law on 4.29.16 as Act 34, and $1.1 million in the budget for houseless youth as requested in HB 1774. And it is the community voice that really makes the difference. Mahalo piha (completely) to those who sent in support for bills.  

MAHALO NUI!   YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

 

HB 1046 HD2 SD2 CD1 – COMPENSATION FOR WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB1046_CD1_.pdf

COMMITTEE REPORT:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/CommReports/HB1046_CD1_CCR146-16_.htm

5.3.16 – Final reading in both House and Senate

House:  PASSED – UNANIMOUS

Senate: PASSED – UNANIMOUS

This bill was on both the House and Senate “Consent” calendars, which means that the caucuses had already decided to pass this bill so there was no floor discussion – it just passed automatically.

 

HB 2391 HD2 SD2 CD1 – RELEASE OF CERTAIN MISDEMEANANTS, PETTY MISDEMEANANTS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2391_CD1_.HTM

COMMITTEE REPORT:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/CommReports/HB2391_CD1_CCR70-16_.pdf

5.3.16 – Final reading in both House and Senate

House: PASSED – 33-118 (1 aye w/reservations: McKelvey; 18 Noes:  Aquino, Cullen, DeCoite, Fukumoto Chang, Har, Johanson, Kawakami, Kong, Matsumoto, McDermott, Ohno, Oshiro, Pouha, Thielen, Tokioka, Tupola, Ward, Yamane )

Ward called this bill the freedom for shoplifters bill. There was some discussion but it was by people who obviously didnʻt read the bill. There has always been opposition and there always will be since the prosecutors routinely convince legislators that, if passed,  Charles Manson will be roaming our streets. CRIME IS AT THE LOWEST RATE IN DECADES. We have lots of education to do at the legislature and in the community about who we incarcerate and why.

Senate: PASSED – 19 – 6 ( Chun Oakland, Harimoto, Kim, Riviere, Slom, L. Thielen)

Missed the discussion, if any, in the Senate.

 

HB 2561 HD1 SD1 CD1– PENAL CODE REVIEW BILL   –  ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2561_CD1_.pdf

COMMITTEE REPORT:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/CommReports/HB2561_CD1_CCR138-16_.pdf

5.3.16 – Final reading in both House and Senate

House: PASSED – 41-82(excused) ( Aye w/reservations: Fukumoto-Chang, Johanson, McKelvey, Pouha, San Buenaventura, Thielen; Noes: Aquino, Cullen, Har, Kawakami, McDermott, Tupola, Ward, Yamane

Tupola spoke first saying that although she supported many things in the bill, the increase in the felony theft threshold is her opposition. That started a chorus of ʻme toosʻ. Interesting that lots of folks on the Penal Code Review were either current or former prosecutors who are now judges and they supported the increase because of what they see in court. So interesting.

Senate: PASSED – UNANIMOUS

This bill was on the Senate “Consent” calendar, which means that the caucus had already decided to pass this bill so there was no floor discussion – it just passed automatically.

 

SB 2392 SD2 HD3 CD1 – NALOXONE (OPIOID ANTAGONIST)
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2392_CD1_.pdf

COMMITTEE REPORT:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/CommReports/SB2392_CD1_CCR34-16_.pdf

5.3.16 – Final reading in both House and Senate

House:  PASSED – UNANIMOUS

Senate: PASSED – UNANIMOUS

This bill was on the Senate “Consent” calendar, which means that the caucus had already decided to pass this bill so there was no floor discussion – it just passed automatically.

 

SB 2630 HD1 CD1 – HAWAI `I CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES SALES OF PRODUCTS TO PUBLIC
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2630_CD1_.pdf

COMMITTEE REPORT:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/CommReports/SB2630_CD1_CCR41-16_.pdfFinal

5.3.16 – Final reading in both House and Senate

House:  PASSED – UNANIMOUS

Senate: PASSED – UNANIMOUS

This bill was on both the House and Senate “Consent” calendars, which means that the caucuses had already decided to pass this bill so there was no floor discussion – it just passed automatically.

 

SB 2916 SD1 HD1 JRI – WIGGLING OUT OF ACT 139  – Signed into law 4.29.16 – ACT 34
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2916_HD1_.pdf

COMMITTEE REPORT:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/CommReports/SB2916_HD1_HSCR1690-16_.pdf

4.14.16 SENATE AGREED TO HOUSE AMENDMENTS

4.15.16 PASSED FINAL READING IN SENATE – 20-0 (5 excused)

 

Economist Robert Reich has reminded us that real change can only transpire when people come together and demand it, and that there is true power in collective action.

CAPWATCH Status Update

CAPWATCHCAPWATCH STATUS UPDATE
Saturday, April 30, 2016

From Kat:

First, I want to thank every person who wrote testimony, emailed, called legislators, and/or  talked to your family and friends for caring about justice. We, together, had a successful session. YOUR VOICE REALLY MATTERS. When legislators heard from the people about $489.3 million for a new OCCC and NO environmental review, YOUR VOICE MADE THE DIFFERENCE. Yesterday I was approached by many people who were shocked that the bill died, since it was touted as a priority. This issue of criminalizing social problems brings together allies in so many different sectors. The future looks very exciting for us to reform a broken system – AND IT WILL TAKE ALL OF US TO DO IT!

Here is a quick scorecard of how we did this session:

  • 11 of the bills we worked on passed all their committees
  • 9 bills went to conference (the 2 low income renter credit bills didn’t get scheduled)
  • 6 bills passed conference (1 we didn’t support) and funding for HB 1774 was put directly into the budget – so 7 measures we worked on passed
  • 2 bills we didn’t support were not supported by the legislature

 

HB 1046 HD2 SD2 CD1 – COMPENSATION FOR WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB1046_CD1_.pdf
Final reading in both House and Senate – Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 

HB 2561 HD1 SD1 CD1– PENAL CODE REVIEW BILL   –  ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2561_CD1_.pdf
Final reading in both House and Senate – Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 

HB 2391 HD2 SD2 CD1 – RELEASE OF CERTAIN MISDEMEANANTS, PETTY MISDEMEANANTS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2391_CD1_.HTM
Final reading in both House and Senate – Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 

SB 2630 HD1 CD1 – HAWAI `I CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES SALES OF PRODUCTS TO PUBLIC
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2630_CD1_.pdf
Final reading in both House and Senate – Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 

SB 2392 SD2 HD3 CD1 – NALOXONE (OPIOID ANTAGONIST) 
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2392_CD1_.pdf
Final reading in both House and Senate – Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 

HB 1774 HD 1 SD2 – OUTREACH AND SUPPORT FOR HOMELESS YOUTH
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB1774_SD2 .pdf
This bill was deferred in conference because $1.1 million was put in the budget for homesless youth. This is really good! So even though the bill died, it is in the budget, which is way better! So it is a win! A win for all our youth and Kat is ecstatic for that!

 

Neither of the low income renter credit bills made it to conference. CAP co-signed a letter, along with Hawai`i Appleseed and other organizations asking for at HB 2166 to go to conference, however, it didn’t make it. The bills were:

HB 2166 HD1 SD2 – LOW INCOME RENTER CREDIT

SB 2833 SD2 HD2   LOW INCOME RENTER’S CREDIT

 

STATUS OF BILLS CAP DID NOT SUPPORT:

 SB 3034 SD1 HD2   CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT RE VICTIMS’ RIGHTS                       

HB 2388 HD3 SD2  NEW CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES                     

SB 2916 SD1 HD1   JRI – WIGGLING OUT OF ACT 139  

 

The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature. -Cesar Chavez