Sentencing Simulation Model

Appropriates $71,018 to the department of public safety for the
corrections population management commission to develop,
implement, and maintain a sentencing simulation model.

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

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that for the past twenty
 2 years, expansion of the correctional system has failed to keep
 3 pace with the increase in the number of inmates.  The proposed
 4 new 2,300-bed prison barely provides the number of beds necessary
 5 to meet today's inmate population needs, let alone the number
 6 anticipated by the projected opening in 2002.  The combined jail
 7 and prison population in Hawaii grew from 2,284 on June 30, 1989,
 8 to 4,729 on June 30, 1999, a 107 percent increase.  Alternatives
 9 to incarceration, which can provide cost-effective means of
10 sentencing some convicted defendants, are equally overburdened.
11      The legislature further finds that an accurate profile of
12 existing convicted defendants and the development of tools to
13 predict future criminal offender populations are essential to the
14 efficient management of limited correctional and alternative
15 resources.  In addition, implementation of criminal justice
16 initiatives like "truth-in-sentencing" requires accurate
17 information and forecasting.  Thus, the legislature agrees that
18 the goals of effective sentencing and control of spiraling
19 correctional costs can best be accomplished through the
20 establishment of a sentencing simulation model.  The simulation

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 model will provide the legislature and the law enforcement
 2 community with the necessary tools to forecast prison populations
 3 and ensure efficient allocation of the existing and proposed
 4 resources for all convicted defendants.  These resources include
 5 not only prison beds, but alternatives to incarceration (e.g.,
 6 probation, drug courts, and other diversionary programs) and
 7 community-based programs.
 8      Of equal importance, the simulation model will permit an
 9 assessment of the impact of current and proposed sentencing
10 policies, including truth-in-sentencing and other initiatives, on
11 existing correctional system and community resources.  It will
12 permit officials to use different combinations of criminal
13 justice indicators, such as crime rates, convictions, prison
14 populations, juvenile crime, and other actual objective data to
15 project the impact of proposed policy changes on Hawaii's
16 resources.  Sentencing simulation models in other jurisdictions
17 have demonstrated high accuracy raters for their projections--
18 variances have been well below two percent.  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.

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1      Establishment of a sentencing simulation model is at least a
 2 two-step process.  The first step requires the consolidation of
 3 data presently maintained in separate databases by the attorney
 4 general, the judiciary, and the department of public safety.
 5 Tasks that must be completed in the first step include:
 6      (1)  Gathering current data about the State's prison,
 7           probation, parole, and community-based criminal
 8           defendant populations;
 9      (2)  Establishing a centralized computer-based criminal
10           defendant population database;  and 
11      (3)  Establishing a computerized network for maintaining the
12           centralized database, including direct connectivity
13           among the components of the criminal justice and
14           correctional systems, to assure that the centralized
15           database is current and accurate.
16      The second step requires the development of computer
17 modeling techniques that use information in the centralized
18 criminal defendant population database, and project the impact of
19 different sentencing policies and proposals on future criminal
20 justice and correctional populations.
21      In conjunction with the corrections population management
22 commission's responsibility to recommend cost-effective
23 mechanisms, legislation, and policies to control over crowding of

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 correctional facilities, and the requirement that such
 2 recommendations include estimates of fiscal impact under section
 3 353F-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the department of public safety
 4 shall establish a sentencing simulation model that includes a
 5 centralized computer-based criminal defendant population
 6 database, a computerized network for maintaining the centralized
 7 database, including direct connectivity among the components of
 8 the state's criminal justice and correctional systems to assure
 9 that the centralized database's information is current and
10 accurate, and computer modeling techniques that use information
11 in the centralized database to project the impact of different
12 sentencing policies and proposals on future criminal justice and
13 corrections populations and resources.
14      The establishment of the sentencing simulation model shall
15 include the compilation of data on current populations of
16 convicted defendants in the criminal justice system and in
17 community-based programs, as well as the development of a
18 modeling capability to predict future populations and the impact
19 of criminal justice policy initiatives on those populations.  The
20 judiciary and state executive departments with relevant
21 information for the centralized database shall cooperate with the
22 department of public safety in the establishment and maintenance
23 of the sentencing simulation model. Once established, the data
24 from the model shall be available to the legislature and all

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 components of the criminal justice and corrections systems of the
 2 state.
 3      The legislature further finds that the governor's committee
 4 on crime recommended that the Edward Byrne memorial state and
 5 local law enforcement assistance formula grant program award the
 6 department of public safety $122,130 to develop, implement, and
 7 operate a sentencing simulation model.  The Edward Byrne memorial
 8 state and local law enforcement assistance formula grant program
 9 is a federal grant program that provides funding for state and
10 local law enforcement agencies.  It has pledged $122,130 to the
11 department of public safety for creating a sentencing simulation
12 model, provided the State commit $71,018 towards the sentencing
13 simulation model.
14      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
15 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $71,018, or so much
16 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001, to
17 develop, implement, and maintain a sentencing simulation model.
18 The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of
19 public safety for the purposes of this Act.

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1      SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.
 3                       INTRODUCED BY:  ___________________________
 5                                       ___________________________