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. (HB2098 HD2)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
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 but not be limited to criminal history
10 record checks. [For the purposes of this section, "criminal
11 history record check" means an examination or search for evidence
12 of an individual's criminal history by means of a criminal
13 history record check conducted by the Hawaii criminal justice
14 data center; provided that the Hawaii criminal justice data
15 center may charge a reasonable fee for criminal history record
16 checks performed at the request of a private school.]
17      (b)  Except as otherwise specified, any [person who is
18 employed or seeks] applicant for employment with a private school

Page 2                                                     2098
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2

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

Page 3                                                     2098
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2

 1      (2)  Upon receipt of information indicating the existence of
 2           criminal history in another state, contacting the
 3           individual state directly for that state's criminal
 4           history record check in accordance with that state's
 5           dissemination laws.
 6      Information obtained pursuant to [subsection (a) and this
 7 subsection] this section shall be used exclusively by the private
 8 school or designated organization for the purpose of determining
 9 whether [or not a person] an applicant is suitable for working in
10 close proximity to children.  The private school and designated
11 organization shall establish safeguards and procedures to protect
12 against inadvertent or inappropriate disclosure of information
13 obtained under this section.  All decisions shall be subject to
14 federal laws and regulations currently or hereafter in effect.
15      The Hawaii criminal justice data center may charge a private
16 school or designated organization a reasonable fee to cover the
17 cost of the state and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal
18 history record check, which may be passed on to the applicant by
19 the private school or designated organization.
20      [(c)] (d)  Private schools may refuse to employ [or may
21 terminate the employment of an employee or] an applicant if the
22 person has been convicted of an offense for which incarceration
23 is a sentencing option, and if the private school finds by reason

Page 4                                                     2098
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2

 1 of the nature and circumstances of the crime that the [person]
 2 applicant poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of
 3 children.  Private schools may also refuse to employ an applicant
 4 for any falsification, misrepresentation, or incompleteness in
 5 the applicant's sworn statement.  This refusal [or termination]
 6 may occur only after appropriate investigation, notification of
 7 results and planned action, and opportunity to meet and rebut the
 8 finding.
 9      (e)  The State, Hawaii criminal justice data center, private
10 schools, and designated organization shall be immune from civil
11 liability for any official act, decision, or omission performed
12 pursuant to this section, and that is not the result of gross
13 negligence or wilful misconduct.
14      (f)  For the purposes of this section:
15      "Criminal history record check" means an examination or
16 search for evidence of an individual's criminal history by means
17 of:
18      (1)  A search of the individual's fingerprints in the
19           Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history record
20           files, and if found, an indication of the state from
21           which the records were provided; and 
22      (2)  A criminal history record check through the files
23           maintained by the Hawaii criminal justice data center.

Page 5                                                     2098
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2

 1      "Designated organization" means a private organization that
 2 receives the criminal history record checks on behalf of private
 3 schools."
 4      SECTION 2.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 5 New statutory material is underscored.
 6      SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect upons its approval.