Audit of How Domestic Violence Cases Are Handled, Processed, and Resolved
From Honolulu County Auditor, June, 2017
…Domestic Violence is a generic term that includes a multitude of potential felonies and misdemeanors. The process of investigating and prosecuting such cases is complex, and the final charges may change over the lifecycle of developing a case and bringing the defendant to trial.
In 2014, the Hawai'i Revised Statutes was amended to classify abuse before a child under 14 years old as a felony. Although intended to deter domestic abuse cases, the amendment created additional work for HPD and PAT and did not result in significantly reducing domestic violence for several reasons:
( 1 ) the law was difficult to prosecute because victims were unwilling to testify or were reluctant to appear in court; and
(2) the HPD and PAT (Office of Prosecuting Attorney) lifecycle for domestic violence incidents can result in reclassifications and decisions that affect the case.
HPD and PAT have a plethora of data and information systems that allow them to track, monitor, and manage domestic violence cases. The entities, however, lack common definitions, processes, procedures, and reports that could facilitate data sharing and streamline monitoring and processing of domestic violence cases. The lack of formal PAT administrative processes and procedures, reliance on informal guides, and the judicial and trial processes compound the difficulties of successfully prosecuting domestic violence cases…..
PDF: Audit Report
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