20 Apr Friday, April 20, 2018 From Kat Brady
On Thursday, April 19th, the Senate appointed their conferees to SB 2047 SD3 HD1:
SB 2047 SD3 HD1 – AUDIT OF DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
House Conferees Appointed: Takayama, Gates Co-Chairs; Thielen.
Senate Conferees Appointed: Nishihara Chair; Keith-Agaran Co-Chair; L. Thielen.
This is what we think is happening:
We were wondering why it was taking so long for the Senate to appoint conferees and then realized that the Senate is trying to negotiate with the House (S – Nishihara/H – Takayama). The Senate knows that the people want the SD1 version of the bill to pass; the House appears to be protecting the department of public safety by making the bill very narrow. The HD1 version is ONLY a performance audit of the mental health and pretrial services at Halawa and the Women’s Community Correctional Center. It seems that the House and Senate are going to compromise and we will lose the meaningful audit that the public and the employees of the department deserve.
WHAT WE CAN DO TO GET A REAL AUDIT BILL PASSED:
The MAJOR barrier is the Chair of the House Public Safety Committee – Rep. Gregg Takayama, his district is Pearl City, Waimalu, and Pacific Palisades (District 34).
He needs to understand that the community wants to know why there are so many deaths and suicides among people under the “care and custody” of the department. Everything that happens in the department comes from the Director. The department is in the worst shape I have seen it on more than 2 decades, too many people dying – at least 8 children left motherless since July 2017, an over-population of low-level lawbreakers (72.2% are sentenced for the lowest felony (C), misdemeanors, violations, petty misdemeanors and parole and parole violations (not new crimes), employee morale is at an all-time low, and the department is on lock down from the community. If we don’t look to the source of this mess, we will continue to contribute millions of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars to continue this dysfunction that harms the people in their “care and custody”, diminishing employee morale, and increased community distrust in our broken “correctional system.”.
IF THIS CONCERNS YOU, PLEASE RESPECTFULLY CONTACT REP. TAKAYAMA and the CONFEREES FROM BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE NOW!
IF YOU KNOW PEOPLE IN ANY OF THESE DISTRICTS, PLEASE HAVE THEM CONTACT THEIR LEGISLATORS. WE NEED TO FLOOD THE CONFEREES WITH RESPECTFUL REQUESTS TO RESTORE THE SD1 VERSION OF SB 2047
Rep. Gregg Takayama, Co-Chair (Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades – District 34)
Rep. Cedric Gates, Co-Chair (Wai`anae, Makaha, Makua, Ma`ili – District 44)
Rep. Cynthia Thielen, Member (Kailua, Kane`ohe Bay – District 50)
Sen. Clarence Nishihara, Co-Chair (Waipahu, Crestview, Manana, Pearl City, Pacific Palisades – District 17)
Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran, Co-Chair (Wailuku, Waihe`e, Kahului – District 5)
Sen. Laura Thielen, Member (Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimanalo, Hawai`i Kai, Portlock – District 25)
Mahalo for their work
Bill # you are writing about
Why this bill is important to you
Why this audit is important:
· Too many sentenced people are dying in our name,
· the department lacks transparency and any oversight,
· there is no community access to documents that our hard-earned tax dollars have paid for, and
· the state wants to spend millions to build a new OCCC: A new building with the same old problems will not address our broken correctional “system”.
Also attached is the latest list of conferees on CAP bills. Only 2 bills have no Senate appointees – HB 2703 – a good tax bill that makes the Earned Income Tax Credit for low income families refundable and some other good stuff and HB 1774 that makes employers responsible for collecting restitution, hence chilling reentry.
We hope that you are inspired to contact the 6 conferees on SB 2047. This is an election year and legislators need to hear from the community. If they continue to allow the department to operate as it has, WE MUST HOLD THE LEGISLATURE ACCOUNTABLE.