S.C.R. NO.














urging the department of public safety to increase its investment in comprehensive OFFENDER reentry training programs for individuals exiting correctional facilities.



        WHEREAS, individuals with histories of arrests and criminal convictions are routinely blocked from employment, housing, and educational opportunities due to state and local restrictions, as well as social stigma; and


        WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, ninety-five percent of people incarcerated in state prisons will eventually be released back into the community; and


        WHEREAS, reentry programs focused on helping persons exiting jails and prisons obtain post-secondary education, housing, employment, and treatment foster a smoother and more successful transition from incarceration back into their communities, resulting in reduced recidivism and improved public safety; and


        WHEREAS, the coronavirus 2019 pandemic and the continuing economic fallout have exacerbated existing barriers to successful prisoner reintegration due, in part, to high unemployment and increased demand for housing assistance; and


        WHEREAS, the Department of Public Safety is statutorily required to provide comprehensive and effective reentry planning for adults exiting correctional facilities; and


        WHEREAS, not having civil identification documents makes it nearly impossible to obtain housing and legal employment, both of which are foundational pieces to successful reentry into communities; and


        WHEREAS, despite the Department of Public Safety's statutory mandate to provide civil identification documents to persons exiting correctional facilities, pursuant to section 353H-32, Hawaii Revised Statutes, roughly half are exiting jails and prisons without such documentation; and


        WHEREAS, persons exiting correctional facilities without proper identification will have fewer legal means to support themselves and will require additional state support and resources; now, therefore,


        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Public Safety is urged to increase investment in comprehensive offender reentry programs for individuals exiting correctional facilities; and


        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Public Safety is encouraged to, at the very least, maintain its existing reentry services and its funding for those contracts during the current economic crisis; and


        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Public Safety is encouraged to identify meaningful opportunities to divest from its retributive approach to corrections and to reinvest in reentry support programs; and


        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Public Safety is urged to actively seek information regarding existing barriers to successful offender reentry and is encouraged to work with community stakeholders to develop, support, and implement policy changes that dismantle these barriers; and


        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Public Safety is requested to fully comply with its statutory obligation to provide exiting offenders with civil identification documents, and to expeditiously identify and correct issues that result in noncompliance; and


        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Public Safety.









Report Title:  

Public Safety; Prisoner Reentry Programs; Increased Investments