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Mazie Hirono on Crime

Democratic challenger; Representative (HI-2)

 


Mandatory sentences are ineffective use of money

Q: What policies do you support to fight crime?

A: Fighting crime is both a short and long term process. In the short term, the best crime fighting programs are those community policing programs, COPS, which put police officers on the streets. In the long term, we have to fight the root causes of crime: the lack of educational and economic opportunity. We cannot build our way out of crime: building more prisons to house the people in jail because of mandatory sentences is an ineffective use of money.

Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, mazieforcongress.com, "Issues" , Nov 7, 2006

Increase funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program.

Hirono co-sponsored increasing funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program

COPS Improvements Act of 2007 - Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to make grants for public safety and community policing programs (COPS ON THE BEAT or COPS program). Revises grant purposes to provide for:

  1. the hiring or training of law enforcement officers for intelligence, antiterror, and homeland security duties;
  2. the hiring of school resource officers;
  3. school-based partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and local school systems to combat crime, gangs, drug activities, and other problems facing elementary and secondary schools;
  4. innovative programs to reduce and prevent illegal drug (including methamphetamine) manufacturing, distribution, and use; and
  5. enhanced community policing and crime prevention grants that meet emerging law enforcement needs.
    Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to:
  1. assign community prosecutors to handle cases from specific geographic areas and address counterterrorism problems, specific violent crime problems, and localized violent and other crime problems; and
  2. develop new technologies to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in crime prevention.
Source: COPS Improvements Act (S.368/H.R.1700) 07-S368 on Jan 23, 2007

First step: reduce recidivism & mass incarceration.

Hirono voted YEA First Step Act

Congressional Summary:

Opposing press release from Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-1):: The reform sentencing laws in this bill may compromise the safety of our communities. Criminals convicted of violent crimes would have the opportunity to achieve `low risk` status and become eligible for early release. California already has similar laws in place--Propositions 47 and 57--which have hamstrung law enforcement and caused a significant uptick in crime.

Supporting press release from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10):: S. 756 establishes a new system to reduce the risk that [federal prisoners] will commit crimes once they are released. Critically, S. 756 would not only implement these reforms to our prison system, but it also takes a crucial first step toward addressing grave concerns about our sentencing laws, which have for years fed a national crisis of mass incarceration. The bill is a `first step` that demonstrates that we can work together to make the system fairer in ways that will also reduce crime and victimization.

Legislative outcome: Concurrence Passed Senate, 87-12-1, on Dec. 18, 2018; Concurrence Passed House 358-36-28, Dec. 20, 2018; President Trump signed, Dec. 21, 2018

Source: Congressional vote 18-S756 on Dec 20, 2018

Easier access to rape kits, and more rape kit analysis.

Hirono signed easier access to rape kits, and more rape kit analysis

    Congress finds the following:
  1. Rape is a serious problem.
  2. In 2006, there were an estimated 261,000 rapes and sexual assaults.
  3. The collection and testing of DNA evidence is a critical tool in solving rape cases.
  4. Despite the availability of funding under the Debbie Smith Act of 2004, there exists a significant rape kit backlog.
  5. A 1999 study estimated that there was an annual backlog of 180,000 rape kits that had not been analyzed.
  6. No agency regularly collects information regarding the scope of the rape kit backlog.
  7. Certain States cap reimbursement for rape kits at levels that are less than 1/2 the average cost of a rape kit.
  8. There is a lack of health professionals who have received specialized training specific to sexual assault victims.
The purpose of this Act is to address the problems surrounding forensic evidence collection in cases of sexual assault, including rape kit backlogs, reimbursement for or free provision of rape kits, and the availability of trained health professionals to administer rape kit examinations.

SPONSOR`S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS:

Sen. FRANKEN: Last year, 90,000 people were raped. Thanks to modern technology, we have an unparalleled tool to bring sexual predators to justice: forensic DNA analysis. Rape kit DNA evidence is survivors` best bet for justice. Unfortunately, we have failed to make adequate use of DNA analysis. In 2004, then-Sen. Biden and others worked to pass the Debbie Smith Act, a law named after a rape survivor whose backlogged rape kit was tested six years after her assault. Unfortunately, because many localities simply did not use the Debbie Smith funds they were allocated, the promise of the Debbie Smith Act remains unfulfilled.

In 2009, Los Angeles had 12,500 untested rape kits; Houston found at least 4,000 untested rape kits in storage, and Detroit reported a backlog of possibly 10,000 kits. Those are just three cities. Hundreds of thousands of women have not seen justice.

Source: Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault (S2736&HR4114) 2009-S2736 on Nov 5, 2009

Rated 73% by the NAPO, indicating a moderate stance on police issues.

Hirono scores 73% by the NAPO on crime & police issues

Ratings by the National Association of Police Organizations indicate support or opposition to issues of importance to police and crime. The organization`s self-description: `The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) is a coalition of police units and associations from across the United States. NAPO was organized for the purpose of advancing the interests of America`s law enforcement officers through legislative advocacy, political action, and education.

`Increasingly, the rights and interests of law enforcement officers have been the subject of legislative, executive, and judicial action in the nationís capital. NAPO works to influence the course of national affairs where law enforcement interests are concerned. The following list includes examples of NAPOís accomplishments:

VoteMatch scoring for the NAPO ratings is as follows:

Source: NAPO ratings on Congress and politicians 2014_NAPO on Dec 31, 2014

Other candidates on Crime: Mazie Hirono on other issues:
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