HHHRC POLICY PRIORITIES
Expanding Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) on O'ahu & Neighbor Islands: LEAD currently provides services to persons referred by the Honolulu Police Department so that they can be linked to needed social services, including housing assistance. Providing more intensive outreach and case management services reduces emergency room utilization and re-arrest rates and improves participant well-being.
Increasing Access to Housing Opportunities for the Unsheltered & Unstably Housed: HHHRC is an active member of Partners-in-Care, a planning, coordinating, and advocacy alliance that develops recommendations for programs and services to fill needs within O'ahu’s Continuum of Care (CoC) for homeless persons. HHHRC’s supports “housing first” and would like to see more money channeled to permanent supportive housing. We also support funding for transitional housing and innovative efforts like Lt. Gov. Green’s Kauhale Initiative.
Increasing Access to Medically Supervised Behavioral Health Treatment: HHHRC strongly believes that behavioral health issues should be treated primarily as health issues outside of the context of criminal justice. We continue to support efforts to fund stabilization beds for the unsheltered with urgent medical need; to expand access to buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder; and to improve assisted community treatment to ensure that those with serious mental illnesses get needed medical treatment while affording more expeditious competency evaluation and restoration services.
Enacting Meaningful Criminal Justice Reforms: HHHRC supports reforms that would reduce the systemic harm of a criminal justice system that disproportionately affects those with behavioral health issues, facing housing instability, having little or no economic means, and otherwise impacted by social determinants of health. As such, we support: compassionate release/parole for prisoners with terminal illnesses or debilitating conditions; bail reform; reducing or eliminating criminal penalties for the personal possession of drugs; limits on the use of solitary confinement; and substantive asset forfeiture reform.
Moving Toward a Livable Wage for All: Recognizing the international consensus that income is a determinant of health, HHHRC supports increasing the state minimum wage and moving toward a living wage that is indexed to inflation and the cost of living.
Increasing Voter Registration & Participation: HHHRC supports efforts to increase voter registration and participation, including automatic voter registration.
HHHRC RELEASES 2019 SYRINGE EXCHANGE ANNUAL REPORT
Hawai῾i Health & Harm Reduction Center released our latest annual report outlining the ongoing successes of Hawaiʿi’s publicly-funded statewide syringe access program (SEP), which began in 1989 to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS. Over 1.18 million syringes were exchanged during the report’s 2019 time frame.