Crime simulation modeling.

Appropriates funds for a criminal justice computer simulation
modeling program.  (HB1006 SD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                S.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  For the past twenty years, expansion of the
 2 correctional system has failed to keep pace with the increase in
 3 the number of inmates.  The proposed new two-thousand three-
 4 hundred bed prison barely provides the number of additional beds
 5 necessary to meet today's inmate population needs, let alone the
 6 number anticipated by the projected opening in 2002.  The
 7 combined jail and prison population in Hawaii grew from two-
 8 thousand eighty-five on June 30, 1988, to four-thousand eight-
 9 hundred eighty on June 30, 1998, a one-hundred thirty-four per
10 cent increase.  Alternatives to incarceration, which can provide
11 cost-effective means of sentencing some convicted defendants, are
12 equally overburdened.
13      An accurate profile of existing convicted defendants and the
14 development of tools to predict future criminal offender
15 populations are essential to the efficient management of these
16 limited correctional and alternative resources.  In addition,
17 implementation of criminal justice initiatives like truth-in-
18 sentencing requires accurate information and forecasting.

Page 2                                                     1006
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1

 1      The legislature finds that the goals of effective sentencing
 2 and control of spiraling correctional costs can best be
 3 accomplished through the establishment of a sentencing simulation
 4 model.  The simulation model will provide the legislature and the
 5 law enforcement community with the necessary tools to forecast
 6 prison populations and ensure efficient allocation of existing
 7 and proposed resources for all convicted defendants.  These
 8 resources include not only prison beds, but alternatives to
 9 incarceration (e.g., probation, drug courts, and other
10 diversionary programs) and community-based programs.
11      A simulation model will permit an assessment of the impact
12 of current and proposed sentencing policies, including truth-in-
13 sentencing and other initiatives, on existing correctional system
14 and community resources.  It will permit officials to use
15 different combinations of criminal justice indicators, such as
16 crime rates, arrests, convictions, prison populations, juvenile
17 crime, and other actual objective data, to project the impact of
18 proposed policy changes on Hawaii's resources.  The modeling
19 capability will allow legislators and other criminal justice and
20 corrections officials to propose more meaningful and effective
21 criminal justice and correctional initiatives.
22      Establishment of a sentencing simulation model is at least a
23 two-step process.  The first step requires the consolidation of
24 data presently maintained in separate databases by the attorney

Page 3                                                     1006
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1

 1 general, the judiciary, and the department of public safety.
 2 Tasks that must be completed in the first step include:
 3      (1)  Gathering current data about the State's prison,
 4           probation, parole, and community-based criminal
 5           defendant populations;
 6      (2)  Establishing a centralized computer-based criminal
 7           defendant population database; and
 8      (3)  Establishing a computerized network for maintaining the
 9           centralized database, including direct connectivity
10           among the components of the criminal justice and
11           correctional systems, to ensure that the centralized
12           database is current and accurate.
13      The second step requires the development of computer
14 modeling techniques that use information in the centralized
15 criminal defendant population database and project the impact of
16 different sentencing policies and proposals on future criminal
17 justice and corrections populations.  Sentencing simulation
18 models in other jurisdictions have demonstrated high accuracy
19 rates for their projections--variances have been well below two
20 per cent.
21      SECTION 2. (a) In conjunction with the department of
22 the attorney general's authority and responsibility to initiate,
23 develop, and perform or coordinate programs, projects, and

Page 4                                                     1006
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1

 1 activities on the subject of crime under section 28-10.6, Hawaii
 2 Revised Statutes, the attorney general shall establish a
 3 sentencing simulation model that includes: a centralized
 4 computer-based criminal defendant population database; a
 5 computerized network for maintaining the centralized database,
 6 including direct connectivity among the components of the State's
 7 criminal justice and correctional systems to ensure that the
 8 centralized database's information is current and accurate; and
 9 computer modeling techniques that use information in the
10 centralized database to project the impact of different
11 sentencing policies and proposals on future criminal justice and
12 corrections populations and resources.
13      The establishment of the sentencing simulation model shall
14 include the compilation of data on current populations of
15 convicted defendants in the criminal justice system and in
16 community-based programs, as well as the development of a
17 modeling capability to predict future populations and the impact
18 of criminal justice policy initiatives on those populations.
19      (b)  The judiciary and state departments with relevant
20 information for the centralized database shall cooperate with the
21 attorney general in the establishment and maintenance of the
22 sentencing simulation model.  Once established, the model shall
23 be available to the legislature and all components of the

Page 5                                                     1006
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1

 1 criminal justice and corrections systems of the State.
 2      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
 3 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $122,000, or so much
 4 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000 and the sum
 5 of $85,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal
 6 year 2000-2001 to carry out the purposes of this Act, including
 7 the hiring of necessary staff and the purchase of necessary
 8 services and equipment.
 9      SECTION 4.  The sums appropriated shall be expended by the
10 department of the attorney general.
11      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.