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


SB 603 Corrections; Correctional Facilities; Administrative and Disciplinary Seg; Restrictions  PSM, JDL
Creates restrictions on the use of administrative segregation and disciplinary segregation in corrections facilities. NISHIHARA, ESPERO, Baker, Dela Cruz, K. Kahele, Kidani, Wakai

CAP Testimony: sb-603-2-7-17-psm-120pm-ss

Talking Points:

  • The department needs more oversight in this regard as the federal government reported that Hawai`i is 7th in the nation in suicides in correctional facilities.
  • In Hawai`i the department of public safety sets aside part of Halawa for most of the state’s maximum-custody prisoners: special holding cells where they are held in isolation for up to 23 hours a day.
  • Nationally, the use of solitary confinement is decreasing, and Hawaii’s maximum custody policy has drawn criticism.
  • Hawai`i uses admin seg as retaliation for people write grievances and for those they don’t like
  • Training for correctional officers is crucial so that they understand and are trained to address the needs of the population under their “care and custody”
  • The effects of isolation present many symptoms, both concurrent with their solitary confinement and after the period of solitary confinement has terminated.
  • People in Hawai`i have endured years of isolation in Arizona, where the department apparently has a “hands off” policy with the operations of the CCA/CoreCivic Saguaro prison. This is unconscionable.



Rep. Scott Nishimoto, Chair
Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, Vice Chair
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
2:00 pm
Room 325

HB 463 Hawaii State Identification Card; Satellite City Halls; Issuance  JUD
Allows any satellite city hall in any county with a population of more than seven hundred thousand persons to issue Hawaii state identification cards. Requires a report to the legislature. TAKAYAMA, DECOITE, HAR, JOHANSON, KEOHOKALOLE, KONG, TAKUMI, THIELEN

CAP Testimony: 2-7-17-jud-hb-463

Talking Points:

  • Lack of identification is the largest barrier to reentry
  • Despite the department saying they donʻt throw out identification; there are a plethora of stories that refute that assertion
  • Without identification, a person cannot cash a check, get a library card, register to vote, open up a bank account, cash a check, etc.
  • It can take anywhere from 1 month to a year for some folks to gather the documents needed for identification
  • It is shameful that Hawai`i releases people with no money and no identification and lends credence to the reports of correctional officers at the gate telling released folks, “See you next week”.


HB 668 Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits; Reporting; AG; Sexual Assault; Forensic Evidence  JUD, FIN
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. ICHIYAMA, BELATTI, FUKUMOTO, HAR, LOPRESTI, MCKELVEY, MIZUNO, MORIKAWA, NISHIMOTO, OSHIRO, THIELEN, TODD, San Buenaventura

CAP Testimony: 2-7-17-jud-hb-668-s

Talking Points:

  • The testing and preservation of evidence is crucial in ensuring that we are protecting the innocent and pursuing the guilty
  • At the Senate hearing for the companion bill it was revealed that 40% of rape kits are tossed out by police and 90% are untested
  • Bias could play a big part in the decision to test or not, therefore, there needs to be publicly available protocols testing these kits or it lends itself to arbitrary and capricious decisionmaking on which kits to test
  • The reporting is important, especially in light of all the kits thrown out and/or not tested.

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