THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            26
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                S.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                    SENATE  CONCURRENT


 1        WHEREAS, the number of drug courts nationwide, in both the
 2   planning and operational stages of development, has increased
 3   significantly; and
 5        WHEREAS, drug courts are now underway in forty-seven
 6   states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and
 7   two federal districts, including Drug Court planning in a
 8   number of Native American Tribal Courts; and
10        WHEREAS, Hawaii's Drug Court program has been extremely
11   successful since its inception in January, 1996; and
13        WHEREAS, Hawaii's Drug Court program is a treatment-based
14   program run by the Judiciary that offers incentives for good
15   behavior and immediate sanctions for relapses with drug use;
16   and
18        WHEREAS, the purpose of Hawaii's Drug Court is to divert
19   nonviolent pre-trial and post-conviction defendants from the
20   usual criminal justice process and incarceration, and place
21   them in a comprehensive, intensive treatment program with on-
22   going judicial supervision; and
24        WHEREAS, under Hawaii's program, pre-trial defendants go
25   through a probationary treatment period that is tailored to
26   their specific rehabilitation needs, and must end their
27   substance abuse.  They receive counseling, life and social
28   skills, and enroll in school or find full-time employment; and
30        WHEREAS, because Hawaii's Drug Court, as well as other
31   Drug Court programs, test defendants for drug use on a regular
32   basis, information regarding drug use by defendants under Drug
33   Court supervision is known to the court on an ongoing basis,
34   and is responded to with appropriate sanctions; and
36        WHEREAS, as a result, drug use of participants in Drug
37   Court programs is substantially reduced and significantly lower
38   than that reported for non-Drug Court defendants, and
39   recidivism rates are also substantially lower; and

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                                  S.C.R. NO.            26
                                                        S.D. 1

 1        WHEREAS, most criminal justice system professionals
 2   estimate that at least forty-five per cent of defendants
 3   convicted of drug possession will recidivate with a similar
 4   offense within two to three years; and
 6        WHEREAS, in contrast, Drug Court programs are experiencing
 7   a significant reduction in recidivism rates among participants.
 8   The drastic reduction in drug use by Drug Court participants,
 9   and the consequent criminal activity associated with drug use,
10   is confirmed by urinalysis reports for Drug Court defendants;
11   and
13        WHEREAS, in addition, recognizing that substance addiction
14   is a chronic and recurring disorder, Drug Court programs
15   maintain continuous supervision over the recovery process of
16   each participant.  Drug usage or failure to comply with other
17   conditions of the program are detected and responded to
18   promptly; and
20        WHEREAS, a basic premise of the Drug Court approach is
21   that cessation of drug abuse requires not only appropriate
22   treatment services but coordinated and comprehensive programs
23   of other rehabilitation services to address the underlying
24   personal problems of the drug user, to promote the user's long-
25   term reentry into society; and
27        WHEREAS, drug courts are also extremely cost effective in
28   terms of reduced costs of incarceration, reduced police
29   overtime and other witness costs, and grand jury expenses.
30   Many unemployed participants who have entered drug programs
31   have become employed and self-supporting; and
33        WHEREAS, many Drug Court participants are parents of minor
34   children, who have either lost or are in danger of losing
35   custody because of drug use.  Drug Court participation may
36   result in retaining or regaining custody upon completion; and
38        WHEREAS, drug-free babies are more likely to be born to
39   female Drug Court participants while enrolled in Drug Court
40   programs, saving substantial medical and social service costs,
41   estimated at a minimum of $250,000 per baby, that are required
42   to care for a drug-addicted infant; and

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                                  S.C.R. NO.            26
                                                        S.D. 1

 1        WHEREAS, additionally, Hawaii's and other states' Drug
 2   Court programs allow law enforcement agencies to allocate their
 3   criminal justice resources more efficiently.  Staff and
 4   services that had been consumed by the less serious but more
 5   time-consuming drug cases can now be targeted for more serious
 6   cases and those offenders who pose greater risks to community
 7   safety; and
 9        WHEREAS, there is an immediate need to expand Hawaii's
10   Drug Court program beyond the City and County of Honolulu to
11   address drug use in other areas of the State; and
13        WHEREAS, establishing Drug Courts on the Big Island and on
14   Kauai would help to address the growing number of substance
15   abuse cases on the Big Island and on Kauai, and the resulting
16   increase in the number of detained and incarcerated individuals
17   with drug abuse problems, by offering an alternative to
18   incarceration for nonviolent drug-abusing offenders; now,
19   therefore,
21        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
22   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2000, the House of
23   Representatives concurring, that that the Judiciary is
24   requested to determine the feasibility of establishing Drug
25   Courts on the Big Island and on Kauai; and
27        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Judiciary is requested to
28   report its findings and recommendations, including any proposed
29   implementing legislation, to the Legislature no later than
30   twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of
31   2001; and
33        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
34   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Chief Justice of
35   the Supreme Court, the presiding Judge of the Drug Court, the
36   Administrative Director of the Courts, and the Governor.