20 Apr Friday, April 20, 2018 from Carrie Anne Shirota
Talking Points for Audit Bill:
- This is long overdue, last audit in 2010
- The purpose of the audit is to provide the Legislature and the public with accurate, objective, and timely information to promote improvement in state government.
- ACLU of Hawai’i filed a complaint with the Department of Justice alleging civil rights violations due to persistent and severe overcrowding and underfunding in seven out of the nine jails and prisons run by the Hawaii.
- The Dept. of Public Safety fired Dr. Mark Mitchell and another mental health administrator because they were trying to bring the level of care back up to the requirements set by the Department of Justice in.
- Jails and prisons in Hawaii have severe understaffing of medical and mental health services
- Sex assaults, suicides, and deaths have been increasing
- The department is funded with taxpayer money, yet information about what is going on in the facilities we pay for and in which our loved ones live and work is not publicly available
- The recent deaths of Ashley Gray, Jessica Fortson, Joey O`Malley, and Daisy Kasitati highlight the many problems in this department
- Internal complaints by Department of Public Safety staff about unfair employment practices and nepotism
SAMPLE EMAIL REQUEST – Please email to the following Legislators assigned as Conferees on this bill:
Gregg Takayama <email@example.com. gov>,
“Senator Clarence K. Nishihara” <firstname.lastname@example.org. gov>,
Dear Honorable Senators and Representatives,
Mahalo for your public service.
We are asking that you please pass the SD1 version of SB 2027 mandating a full audit of the Department of Public Safety, which now has a budget of over $300 million annually and clearly needs assistance, e.g. inmate suicides, employee dissatisfaction, does not routinely provide IDs to discharged inmates, unclear about its purpose (e.g, is PSD’s mission to build new jail/prison beds or to reduce recidivism?)
We have worked with PSD for many years and I was also a deputy attorney general in the past and represented it in lawsuits including assaults (sexual and non-sexual). The same problems persist today as they did over 20 years ago.
A meaningful and extensive audit to determine the best course for PSD is needed. All government departments are audited fully at some point to ensure effective operations, and PSD requires one now. We know of no legal reason to not require an extensive audit of PSD.
Mahalo again for your time and public service.
Lorenn Walker, JD, MPH
Director, Hawai’i Friends of Restorative Justice
PO Box 3654
Honolulu, Hawai’i, USA