Friday, February 15, 2008

Cost a problem for GPS tracking of TRO violators

Money was the biggest issue in a hearing yesterday discussing the future of HB2766, a measure that would allow courts to require electronic monitoring of offenders convicted of violating a domestic abuse temporary restraining order. The measure would also appropriate funds for offenders who cannot afford to pay for costs associated with the monitoring device.

A representative from the Public Defenders Office argued that many TRO violators wouldn't be able to afford the $5 cost of the electronic monitoring device. He said that most domestic disputes stem from money issues and that adding additional costs would exacerbate the situation, possibly putting the victim in more danger. The offender will blame the victim, he said. They are already upset about mandatory jail time and will become angrier about paying higher fees.

The Hawaii State Coalition Against Drunk Driving Domestic Violence begged to differ, disagreeing with the testimony that violators can't afford $5 a day and refuting the claim that money is a cause of domestic violence. A representative from the non-profit organization said that money is not the source of domestic violence problems; the need to guard all the power and control in a relationship is. Anyone can be an abuser, not only the indigent. They can be the wealthy businessperson walking down Bishop St., the physician you saw last week or the fastfood worker who took your order this afternoon.

Although the bill was passed out of Judiciary, Rep. Tommy Waters mentioned that funding will most likely be a problem. The state may not be able to afford the appropriation of funds to pay for electronic devices for indigent persons. Rep. Waters recommended passing the bill on to Finance for further discussion. Rep. Cindy Evans (D), Rep. Joseph Souki (D), Rep. Kymberly Pine (R) voted yes with reservations.
Photo from BBC News.

ERROR: Thank you to MADD for noticing a mistake in the post. The Hawaii State Coalition Against Drunk Driving (did i really write that!?) didn't give testimony because no such coalition exists; the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence gave testimony on the issue.

3 comments:

m lee said...

Of course funding is a problem, however it is a bigger problem when we have women beaten to death on public streets with rifle butts. This is a good bill which I will continue to endorse even if it fails this year. Sometimes things just take time and a realization that violence against women won't be tolerated by our state. M. Lee

m lee said...

Of course funding is a problem, however it is a bigger problem when we have women beaten to death on public streets with rifle butts. This is a good bill which I will continue to endorse even if it fails this year. Sometimes things just take time and a realization that violence against women won't be tolerated by our state. M. Lee

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem I see here in Hawaii is that we have so many criminals among us. How many times I read the news when a horrific crime appears and what else, how many prior convictions and felonies the offender has? How can the legislators continue to make laws to supposedly protect us from these offenders yet they still are among us? Seems the laws passed has no muscle and are just words. If the legislature really wants to be tough on crime, get this folks out of our communities for good!