Criminal history checks

Requires private schools, in cooperation with the Hawaii
criminal justice data center, to conduct criminal history
verifications of applicants for employment in positions
necessitating close proximity to children.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     A BILL FOR AN ACT



 1      SECTION 1. Section 846-44, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended to read as follows:
 3      "[[]846-44[]]  Employees of private schools; criminal
 4 history [record checks.] verification.  (a)  Private schools
 5 [may] shall develop procedures for obtaining verifiable
 6 information regarding the criminal history of persons who [are
 7 employed or are seeking] apply for employment in positions
 8 [which] that place them in close proximity to children.  These
 9 procedures shall include criminal history [record checks.  For
10 the purposes of this section, "criminal history record check"
11 means an examination or search for evidence of an individual's
12 criminal history by means of a criminal history record check
13 conducted by the Hawaii criminal justice data center; provided
14 that the Hawaii criminal justice data center may charge a
15 reasonable fee for criminal history record checks performed at
16 the request of a private school.] verification procedures
17 consistent with this section.
18      (b)  Except as otherwise specified, any [person who is
19 employed or seeks] applicant for employment with a private school
20 in a position [which] that necessitates close proximity to

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 children [may be required to] shall provide to the private school
 2 [a] or designated organization:
 3      (1)  A sworn statement indicating whether [or not] the
 4           [person] applicant has ever been convicted of [an],
 5           arrested for, or has had a judgment or order rendered
 6           against the applicant for any offense for which
 7           incarceration is or may be a sentencing option, and the
 8           details of the offense[.];
 9      (2)  Written consent, authorizing:
10           (A)  The school or designated organization and the
11                Hawaii criminal justice data center to conduct a
12                criminal history record check and verification;
13                and
14           (B)  Fingerprints of the applicant to be taken for the
15                purpose of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
16                criminal history record check;
17           and
18      (3)  Any descriptive information concerning the applicant
19           and required by the Hawaii criminal justice data center
20           for the purpose of conducting the criminal history
21           record check under this section.
22      (c)  For each applicant that a private school is considering
23 for employment in a position that necessitates close proximity to

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 children, the private school or designated organization shall
 2 submit to the Hawaii criminal justice data center copies of the
 3 applicant's sworn statement and consent to a criminal history
 4 record check, as well as the applicant's completed fingerprint
 5 card and descriptive information.  The private school or
 6 designated organization shall be responsible for checking the
 7 general accuracy of any descriptive information concerning the
 8 physical characteristics of the applicant.
 9      Information obtained pursuant to [subsection (a) and this
10 subsection] this section shall be used exclusively by the private
11 school, designated organization, or Hawaii criminal justice data
12 center for the purpose of determining whether [or not a person]
13 an applicant is suitable for working in close proximity to
14 children.  The private school, designated organization, and
15 Hawaii criminal justice data center shall establish safeguards
16 and procedures to protect against inadvertent or inappropriate
17 disclosure of information obtained under this section.  All
18 decisions shall be subject to federal laws and regulations
19 currently or hereafter in effect.
20      Upon completion of the criminal history record check, the
21 Hawaii criminal justice data center shall determine if the sworn
22 statement is complete and accurate.  The Hawaii criminal justice

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 1 data center shall provide the private school or designated
 2 organization with a report of its determination, and the basis
 3 thereof.
 4      The Hawaii criminal justice data center may charge a private
 5 school or designated organization a reasonable fee to cover the
 6 cost of criminal history verification, which fee may include the
 7 cost of Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history record
 8 checks, and may be passed on to the subject of the verification.
 9      [(c)](d)  Private schools may refuse to employ [or may
10 terminate the employment of an employee or] an applicant [if the
11 person has been convicted of an offense for which incarceration
12 is a sentencing option, and] if the private school finds by
13 reason of the nature and circumstances of [the crime] incidents
14 reported in the applicant's sworn statement that the [person]
15 applicant poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of
16 children.  Private schools may also refuse to employ an applicant
17 for any falsification, misrepresentation, or incompleteness in
18 the applicant's sworn statement.  This refusal [or termination]
19 may occur only after appropriate investigation, notification of
20 results and planned action, and opportunity to meet and rebut the
21 finding.
22      (e)  The State, Hawaii criminal justice data center, private
23 schools, and designated organizations shall be immune from civil

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 1 liability for any official act, decision, or omission performed
 2 pursuant to this section, and that is not the result of gross
 3 negligence or wilful misconduct.
 4      (f)  For the purposes of this section:
 5      "Criminal history record check" means an examination of an
 6 individual's criminal history records including but not limited
 7 to a fingerprint analysis and name inquiry into federal or state
 8 criminal history record files.
 9      "Criminal history verification" means an inquiry conducted
10 by the Hawaii criminal justice data center and a private school
11 or designated organization that involves:
12      (1)  A search for, and compilation of an individual's
13           criminal history by means of a criminal history record
14           check of:
15           (A)  Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history
16                record files; and
17           (B)  Hawaii criminal justice data center criminal
18                history record files;
19      (2)  Comparison of the individual's criminal history records
20           with the sworn statement of the criminal history
21           provided by the individual upon application for
22           employment at a private school; and

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 1      (3)  An evaluation of the accuracy and completeness of the
 2           individual's sworn statement.
 3      "Designated organization" means a private organization that
 4 conducts criminal history verification on behalf of private
 5 schools and in cooperation with the Hawaii criminal justice data
 6 center."
 7      SECTION 2.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 8 New statutory material is underscored.
 9      SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
11                         INTRODUCED BY:___________________________