Hawaii Pardon and Parole Laws


In Hawaii, laws relating to pardon and parole can be found in Chapter 353, Title 20 of Division 1 of Hawaii revised statutes.

Pursuant to HRS § 353-61, members of the paroling authority shall be nominated by a panel composed of the chief justice of the Hawaii supreme court, the director, the president of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Association, the president of the bar association of Hawaii, a representative designated by the head of the Interfaith Alliance Hawaii, a member from the general public to be appointed by the governor, and the president of the Hawaii chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Duties of Paroling Authority

Pursuant to HRS § 353-62, the paroling authority must:

1) Serve as the central paroling authority for the State;
2) In selecting individuals for parole, consider for parole all committed persons, except in cases where the penalty of life imprisonment not subject to parole has been imposed, regardless of the nature of the offense committed;
3) Determine the time at which parole is granted to any eligible individual at that time at which maximum benefits of the correctional institutions to the individual have been reached and the element of risk to the community is minimal;
4) Establish rules of operation to determine conditions of parole applicable to any individual granted parole;
5) Provide continuing custody, control, and supervision of paroled individuals;
6) Revoke or suspend parole and provide for the authorization of return to a correctional institution for any individual who violates parole or any condition of parole when, in the opinion of the Hawaii paroling authority, the violation presents a risk to community safety or a significant deviation from any condition of parole;
7) Discharge an individual from parole when supervision is no longer needed;
8. Interpret the parole program to the public in order to develop a broad base of public understanding and support; and
9) Recommend to the legislature sound parole legislation and recommend to the governor sound parole administration.

Moreover, HRS § 353-62 provides that in its operations the paroling authority must:

) Keep and maintain a record of all meetings and proceedings;
2) Send a detailed report of its operations to the governor every three months;
3) In promulgating rules, conform to chapter 91;
4) In all matters act by a majority of its members; and
5) Appoint an administrative secretary and such other clerical and other assistants as may be necessary within the limits of available appropriations, subject to any applicable salary classification and civil service schedules, laws, and rules.

Pursuant to HRS § 353-65, the Hawaii paroling authority may establish rules, with the approval of the governor and the director of public safety not inconsistent with this part.  In such case, any prisoner may be paroled but must remain, while on parole, in the legal custody and under the control of the paroling authority, and be subject, at any time until the expiration of the term for which the prisoner was sentenced, to be taken back within the enclosure of the prison.  Full power, subject to this part, to enforce the rules, to grant, and to revoke paroles is conferred upon the paroling authority.  The power to retake and reimprison a paroled prisoner is conferred upon the administrative secretary or the administrative secretary’s designee, who may issue a warrant authorizing all of the officers named therein to arrest and return to actual custody any paroled prisoner.  The superintendent of Hawaii state prison, the chief of police of each county and all police officers of the State or of any county, and all prison officers must execute any such order in like manner as ordinary criminal process.

HRS § 353-65 provides that if any prisoner so paroled leaves the State without permission from the paroling authority, the prisoner is deemed to be an escaped prisoner, and may be arrested as such.

Terms and Conditions of Parole

Pursuant to HRS § 353-66, every parole must be subject to the express condition, to be set forth in the official written notification of parole to the prisoner, but to be binding upon the prisoner in any event, that all or any portion of the prisoner’s credits earned or to be earned may be forfeited by order of the Hawaii paroling authority in the event that the prisoner breaks the prisoner’s parole or violates any law of the State or rule of the paroling authority or any of the terms or conditions of the prisoner’s parole.  No parole must be revoked and no credits forfeited without cause, which cause must be stated in the order revoking the parole, or forfeiting the credits after notice to the paroled prisoner of the paroled prisoner’s alleged offense and an opportunity to be heard.  However, when a person is convicted in the State of a crime committed while on parole and is sentenced to imprisonment, or when it is shown by personal investigation that a parolee has left the State without permission from the paroling authority and due effort is made to reach the parolee by registered mail directed to the parolee’s last known address.  In such case, no hearing is required to revoke the parolee’s parole.  However, when any duly licensed psychiatrist or licensed psychologist finds that continuance on parole will not be in the best interests of a parolee or the community, the paroling authority, within the limitations of the sentence imposed, must order the detention and treatment of the prisoner until such time as the prisoner is found by any duly licensed psychiatrist or licensed psychologist to be eligible for continuance on parole.

HRS § 353-66 provides that if any paroled prisoner leaves the State without permission from the paroling authority, or if the whereabouts of any paroled prisoner is not known to the paroling authority because of the neglect or failure of the prisoner to so inform it, the paroling authority may order the parole suspended pending apprehension.  From and after the suspension of the parole of any paroled prisoner and until the paroled prisoner’s return to custody, the paroled prisoner is deemed an escapee and a fugitive from justice, and no part of the time during which the paroled prisoner is an escapee and a fugitive from justice will be part of the paroled prisoner’s term.

The paroling authority may at any time order the arrest and temporary return to custody of any paroled prisoner, for ascertaining if there is sufficient cause to warrant the paroled prisoner’s reimprisonment or the revoking of the paroled prisoner’s parole or other action.

Any paroled prisoner retaken and reimprisoned must be confined according to the paroled prisoner’s sentence for that portion of the paroled prisoner’s term remaining unserved at time of parole, but successive paroles may, in the discretion of the paroling authority, be granted to the prisoner during the life and in respect of the sentence.

HRS § 353-66 provides that the Hawaii paroling authority may require a paroled prisoner to undergo and complete a substance abuse treatment program when the paroled prisoner has committed a violation of the terms and conditions of parole involving possession or use, not including to distribute or manufacture, of any dangerous drug, detrimental drug, harmful drug, intoxicating compound, marijuana, or marijuana concentrate, unlawful methamphetamine trafficking, or involving possession or use of drug paraphernalia.  If the paroled prisoner fails to complete the substance abuse treatment program or the Hawaii paroling authority determines that the paroled prisoner cannot benefit from any substance abuse treatment program, the paroled prisoner will be subject to revocation of parole and return to incarceration.  As a condition of parole, the Hawaii paroling authority may require the paroled prisoner to:

1) Be assessed by a certified substance abuse counselor for substance abuse dependency or abuse under the applicable Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and Addiction Severity Index;
2) Present a proposal to receive substance abuse treatment in accordance with the treatment plan prepared by a certified substance abuse counselor through a substance abuse treatment program that includes and identified source of payment for the treatment program;
3) Contribute to the cost of the substance abuse treatment program; and
4) Comply with any other terms and conditions for parole[i].

Final Discharge

Pursuant to HRS § 353-70, whenever, any paroled prisoner has given such evidence as is deemed reliable and trustworthy that the paroled prisoner will remain at liberty without violating the law and that the paroled prisoner’s final release is not incompatible with the welfare of society, the Hawaii paroling authority may grant the prisoner a written discharge from further liability under the prisoner’s sentence.  Any paroled prisoner who has been on parole for at least five years must be brought before the paroling authority for purposes of consideration for final discharge and complete pardon.  In the event the prisoner is not granted a final discharge and full pardon, the paroled prisoner must be brought before the paroling authority for the aforementioned purposes annually thereafter.  Any person, who, while on parole, enters the military service of the United States, may, upon the person’s honorable discharge therefrom, petition the paroling authority for a final discharge, and the paroling authority may consider the honorable discharge as grounds for granting a final discharge from parole and recommending to the governor a full pardon[ii].

Pursuant to HRS § 353-72, the director of public safety and the Hawaii paroling authority must consider every application for pardon which may be referred to them by the governor and must furnish the governor, as soon as may be after such reference, all information possible concerning the prisoner, together with a recommendation as to the granting or refusing of the pardon.

Hawaii Pardon and Parole Laws

[i] HRS § 353-66.

[ii] HRS § 353-70.