Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $51,921)
The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center (HCJDC) manages the statewide Sex Offender Registration program and is responsible for maintaining sex offender registration records and information, notifying law enforcement of non-compliant and absconded sex offenders, and notifying other jurisdictions of sex offenders relocating to their jurisdiction.
SORNA requires offenders convicted of a qualified sex offense to register and be classified into one of three tiers. Hawaii’s law requires covered offenders, whether a resident of this State or not, who remains in this State for more than ten days or for an aggregate period exceeding thirty days in one calendar year to register as a sex offender. Offenders are also required to verify and update information every year, in addition to signing periodic verification forms quarterly by either mailing back the documents within ten days upon receipt or reporting in person to a registering agency.
The project goals and objectives are to ensure the HCJDC complies with SORNA requirements by classifying offenders with out-of-state sex offenses into SORNA compliant tiers and determining whether the offender is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to 846E, HRS. The Criminal Justice Division, Deputy Attorney’s General, assists the HCJDC with the classification process and determination. In addition, the HCJDC partners with the Investigations Division to enforce registration requirements. The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago consisting of eight major islands separated by the Pacific Ocean. As a result, travel between islands is primarily done by airplane. The Investigations Division and its personnel are based on the Island of Oahu. The Division currently lacks sufficient resources to regularly fly personnel out to conduct compliance checks on offenders residing on the neighbor islands. The investigators assist with the in-person compliance checks at the last known registered address of every registered offender who fails to comply with Hawaii’s verification requirement. When the Investigations Division confirms that a registered sex offender has failed to comply with the State’s verification requirements, criminal investigations will be conferred for the prosecution to the Criminal Justice Division, Department of the Attorney General, or county Prosecutor’s Office.
In partnership with the Deputy Attorney’s General and the Investigations Division, the HCJDC hopes to ensure public safety by classifying offenders promptly and keeping all offenders accountable by traveling to the neighboring islands to conduct in-person compliance and residential checks and confer offenders for the prosecution who fail to comply.