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State of Hawai’i HCR 85 Task Force on Prison Reform - Creating Better Outcomes, Safer Communities, 2018

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Creating Better Outcomes,
Safer Communities
Final Report of the
House Concurrent Resolution 85 Task Force on Prison Reform
to the Hawai‘i Legislature
2019 Regular Session

Prepared by the
HCR 85 TASK FORCE
with editorial assistance by the Legislative Reference Bureau
STATE OF HAWAI‘I
December 2018

ii

FOREWORD
House Concurrent Resolution No. 85, H.D. 2, S.D. 1 (2016) requested the Chief Justice of the
Hawai‘i Supreme Court to establish a task force to make recommendations to the Legislature on
ways to improve Hawai‘i’s correctional system, including recommendations on costs, best
practices, and the design of future correctional facilities. I am honored that Chief Justice Mark
Recktenwald asked me to chair the HCR 85 Task Force, and I am pleased to present the Task
Force’s Final Report to the Legislature and the public.
This report represents the views of a diverse group of stakeholders that includes legislators, the
Judiciary, the Department of Public Safety, representatives of three Native Hawaiian
organizations, the prosecutor for the City and County of Honolulu, the chair of the Hawai‘i
Paroling Authority, a criminal justice scholar at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and several
community advocates. With such a diverse group, there were many points of view on the complex
issues of prison reform, but we all agreed on one thing, the importance of which cannot be
overstated: Hawai‘i’s correctional system is not producing acceptable, cost-effective, or
sustainable outcomes and needs immediate and profound change. Despite spending hundreds
of millions of dollars a year on corrections, Hawai‘i has an overall recidivism rate of over 50%,
we incarcerate a disproportionate percentage of Native Hawaiians, we are one of only five states
to house over 20% of our prisoners in private prisons, and the State is planning to spend hundreds
of millions of dollars on a new jail on O‘ahu and larger prisons on the neighbor islands that will
only compound and perpetuate the bad outcomes the system is currently producing.
Beginning in June 2016, the Task Force and its five subcommittees—Program, Native Hawaiian,
Education, Jail and Prison Design, and Faith—researched best practices in other states and
countries, analyzed data, conducted a hearing on Native Hawaiian issues, and solicited the views
of correctional experts. At the end of that process, we arrived at a new vision for corrections in
Hawai‘i. It is a vision that will make our correctional system more responsive to the needs of
prisoners, reduce the prison population and recidivism rates, rein in long-term costs, and make our
communities safer. It is a vision that corresponds to the values of Hawai‘i’s people, and it is a
vision that will put an end to the violence and trauma that are endemic to a punitive correctional
system.
Reforming our correctional system will not be quick or easy. It took us forty years to create the
problems we document in this report, and it will take many years to fix them, but it can be done if
we are committed to creating a better system and have the courage to engage (and when necessary
confront) the punitive mentality that created and sustains the current failed system.
The Task Force has taken a comprehensive approach to prison reform and is making
recommendations in many areas. Our primary recommendation is that Hawai‘i immediately
begin to transition from a punitive to a rehabilitative correctional system. Evidence from
other states and countries confirms that the rehabilitative approach is the only sustainable way to
make our communities safe. Mass incarceration does not work.

iii

Our recommendations regarding the State’s plan to build a new jail to replace the O‘ahu
Community Correctional Center (OCCC) deserve special attention. Studies have shown that just
a few days in jail can increase the likelihood of a prison sentence and promote future criminal
behavior. Because jails produce bad outcomes and are extremely costly to build, maintain, and
operate, communities across the nation are finding ways to reduce their jail populations through
bail reform and innovative diversion programs. We strongly recommend that Hawai‘i join the
national trend. We should immediately stop the costly planning for a huge new jail and form a
collaborative working group of stakeholders and government officials to plan and design a jail that
is smaller, smarter, and less expensive than the one now under consideration. It is essential that a
broad range of community interests be engaged in the jail planning process so that the new jail
reflects best practices and does not become another warehouse for the poor, homeless, and
mentally ill.
Finally, we urge the Legislature to view this report as the first step in a long journey to implement
realistic solutions to our correctional problems and reform our prison system. We have identified
what we believe are the best ideas in prison reform, but those ideas will not amount to anything
unless they are translated into legislation. That is why one of our most important recommendations
is that the Legislature create and fund an Implementation Commission to ensure that the prison
reform takes place in a timely, efficient, and effective manner.
Greg Berman, Director of the Center for Court Innovation, has said that criminal justice reform
must be based on equal parts pragmatism and idealism. We believe our recommendations meet
that criteria.
I wish to thank Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald for his continued support and counsel; Charlotte
Carter-Yamauchi, Devin Choy, Lance Ching, and the staff of the Legislative Reference Bureau for
their assistance in preparing this report; retired Judge Michael Town for his sound advice and hard
work in organizing the faith subcommittee and working so hard to keep the Task Force on track;
the many people who have regularly attended the Task Force and subcommittee meetings and
shared their mana‘o with us; and of course, my most sincere thanks to the members of the HCR
85 Task Force for their dedication and hard work as we search for ways to improve Hawai‘i’s
correctional system.
Justice Michael D. Wilson, Chair
HCR 85 Task Force

iv

HCR 85 Task Force Members
Current Members
Honorable Michael D. Wilson
Associate Justice, Hawai‘i Supreme Court
Chair
Robert Merce
Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
Vice Chair
Dwight Sakai, Administrator
Adult Client Services Branch, First Circuit Court
Hawai‘i Judiciary
Fred Hyun, Chair
Hawai‘i Paroling Authority
Representative Gregg Takayama
Chair, House Committee on Public Safety, Veterans, & Military Affairs
Senator Clarence K. Nishihara
Chair, Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs
Colette Machado
Chair, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Dr. Meda Chesney-Lind
Professor of Women’s Studies
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Keith Kaneshiro
Prosecuting Attorney
City and County of Honolulu
S. Kukunaokalā Yoshimoto, MS
Holomua Pu‘uhonua
Matthew Taufete‘e
Founder and Director, First LAP (Life After Prison)
Brandi Leong,
Case Manager, Care Hawai‘i

v

Former Members
Jeremy (Kama) Hopkins (2016)
Aide to Robert Lindsey
Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Bert Matsumoto (2016)
Chair, Hawai‘i Paroling Authority
Sidney Nakamoto (2016-2017)
Administrator, Adult Client Services Branch,
First Circuit Court, Hawai‘i Judiciary
Margaret Watson (2016)
Student
James Hirano (2016-2018)
Warden, Maui Community Correctional Center
Department of Public Safety

vi

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The HCR 85 Task Force would like to thank the many people who attended our meetings and
contributed their time, effort, and ideas to improving Hawai‘i’s correctional system. Mahalo nui
loa.

Kat Brady
Community Alliance on Prisons
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Grace Lau
Hawai‘i State Senate
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Karen Umemoto
University of California at Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

Lorenn Walker
Hawai‘i Friends of Restorative Justice
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Trelaine Ito
Office of United States Senator Brian Schatz
Washington, D.C.

Greg Berman
Center for Court Innovation
New York, New York

Judge Jonathan Lippman (Ret.)
Tyler Nims
Latham & Watkins LLP
New York, New York

Michelle Deitch
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

Francine Dudoit-Tagupa
Waikiki Health Center
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

George King
Statistician, Department of Public Safety
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Dr. Marayca Lopez-Ferrer
Laura Maiello-Reidy
GCL Ricci Green Architects
New York, New York

Raphael Sperry
Architects/Designers/Planners
for Social Responsibility
Berkeley, California

Kris Nyrop
LEAD Program
Seattle, Washington

Heather Lusk
Life Foundation & The CHOW Project
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Mateo Cabellero
ACLU-Hawai‘i
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Robert Perkinson, Ph.D.
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

vii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (continued)
Ciara Lacy (producer/director)
Beau Bassett (producer)
Out of State
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Karen Kawamoto
Office of Representative Gregg Takayama
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Henry Curtis
Life of the Land
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Alec Ikeda
Priscilla Kubota
Office of Senator Clarence Nishihara
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Patrick Brown
Alden Kau
Mark Q. Tomaier
Office of Justice Michael D. Wilson
Honolulu, Hawai‘i
Judge William M. Domingo
First Circuit District Court
Honolulu, Hawai‘i
Noriko Namiki
Kathleen Algire
YWCA O‘ahu
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Laura Maruschak
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Washington, D.C.
Vincent Borja
Project Coordinator
Interagency Council on Intermediate Sanctions
Honolulu, Hawai‘i
Bree Derrick
Council of State Governments
Seattle, Washington

Community Members
Demont and Momi Conner
Carrie Ann Shiroda
Sonny Ganaden
Fr. David Gierlach
Rev. Tammy Turcios
Rev. Kaleo Patterson
Steve Morris

Jeannie Lum
Fr. Gary Secor
Anna Courie
The Ven. Steven Acosta
Rev. Dan Chun
Haaheo Guanson
Anita Hurlburt

Eleina Funakoshi
Matiullah Joyia
Tracy Ryan
Rev. David Barr
Aaron Wills
Rev. Alan Urasaki
Nikos Leverenz

Special thanks to OHA Chair Colette Machado, Lopaka Baptiste, and Kamile Maldanado for
helping us better understand the problems of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice system.
We also wish to extend our most sincere thanks to the OHA policy, media, research, and art
teams that are producing and publishing a summary of the Task Forceʻs key findings and
recomdations: Carla Hostetter, Charene Haliniak, Keith Gutierrez, Kaleena Patcho, Nelson
Gaspar, Kai Markell, Jocelyn Doane, and Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and her haumana of the
Ku Kanaka class at Halawa Correctional Facility. Mahalo a nui loa no koʻoukou kōkua ana
mai.

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Table of Contents
FOREWORD .......................................................................................................................

iii

HCR 85 Task Force Members .............................................................................................

v

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........................................................................................................

vii

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND KEY RECOMMENDATIONS ......................................................

xiii

CHAPTER 1
HAWAI‘I’S CORRECTIONAL POLICIES ARE NOT PRODUCING ACCEPTABLE, COST-EFFECTIVE,
OR SUSTAINABLE OUTCOMES ............................................................................................

1

CHAPTER 2
HAWAI‘I SHOULD TRANSITION TO A MORE JUST, EFFECTIVE, AND SUSTAINABLE
CORRECTIONAL MODEL THAT FOCUSES ON REHABILITATION
RATHER THAN PUNISHMENT .............................................................................................

9

A.

Our Prison System Should be Based Upon and Reflect
Hawai‘i’s Core Values .................................................................................

9

B.

Hawai‘i’s Correctional System Should Incorporate Key Elements of the
Norwegian/European Correctional Model ..................................................

11

C.

Prison Reform in Hawai‘i Should be Guided by Successful Programs and Best
Practices in Other States............................................................................. 14

D.

Prison Reform in North Dakota ...................................................................

18

CHAPTER 3
A NEW CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM REQUIRES A NEW VISION AND
NEW GOALS AND OBJECTIVES ...........................................................................................

21

A.

A New Vision Statement .............................................................................

21

B.

Guiding Principles, Goals, and Objectives for the
New Correctional System............................................................................

22

C.

The Task Force’s Vision, Principles, Goals, and Objectives are
Consistent with the European Prison Rules .................................................

26

CHAPTER 4
THE STATE MUST ADDRESS THE OVERREPRESENTATION OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS IN THE
CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM ....................................................................................................

27

A.

Background ................................................................................................

ix

27

B.

The Need for Community-Based Interventions for At-Risk
Native Hawaiian Children ...........................................................................

29

C.

Create Cultural Courts to Divert Native Hawaiians Away from
the Criminal Justice System ........................................................................

32

D.

Expand In-Prison Cultural and Educational Programs for
Native Hawaiians ........................................................................................

32

E.

Make Culturally Relevant Reentry Programs Available to
Native Hawaiians ........................................................................................

32

F.

Implement the Recommendations of the 2012 Native Hawaiian Justice
Task Force ..................................................................................................

33

CHAPTER 5
THE LEGISLATURE SHOULD CREATE AN INDEPENDENT OVERSIGHT AND IMPLEMENTATION
COMMISSION .................................................................................................................... 34
A.

Independent Oversight is Essential Because Jails and Prisons are Closed
Institutions and are Not Subject to the Public Scrutiny That Applies to
Most Other Institutions ..............................................................................

34

B.

The Basic Elements of Effective Oversight...................................................

35

C.

The Need for Independent Oversight in Hawai‘i .........................................

37

D.

Hawai‘i Should Establish an Implementation Commission and Fund a
Transitional Coordinator Position to Ensure That Prison Reform Takes

Place in an Orderly, Efficient, and Effective Manner……………………………………………

38

CHAPTER 6
EVIDENCE BASED PROGRAMS ARE ESSENTIAL TO PREPARE PRISONERS FOR REENTRY
INTO THE COMMUNITY .....................................................................................................

40

A.

Introduction ...............................................................................................

40

B.

Educational Programs .................................................................................

40

C.

Effective Substance Abuse Treatment ........................................................

41

D.

Some Cost Considerations ..........................................................................

42

CHAPTER 7
THE LEGISLATURE SHOULD CREATE AN ACADEMY TO TRAIN CORRECTIONAL WORKERS
AT ALL LEVELS ....................................................................................................................

44

A.

Training Correctional Staff ..........................................................................

44

B.

Research and Evaluation.............................................................................

45

C.

Encourage the University of Hawai‘i to Offer Accredited Degrees in Criminal
Justice ........................................................................................................ 46

x

CHAPTER 8
HAWAI‘I SHOULD IMPROVE THE REENTRY PROCESS AND SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF
NEW TRANSITIONAL HOUSING .......................................................................................... 47
CHAPTER 9
HAWAI‘I SHOULD EXPAND ITS TREATMENT COURTS TO ACCOMMODATE
MORE OFFENDERS .............................................................................................................

51

CHAPTER 10
HAWAI‘I SHOULD IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR WOMEN PRISONERS AND ADOPT
GENDER-RESPONSIVE POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND PRACTICES............................................

52

A.

Introduction ...............................................................................................

52

B.

Trauma-Informed Facility and Staff.............................................................

53

C.

Healthy Relationships .................................................................................

53

D.

Support Services .........................................................................................

54

E.

Community-Based Programs and Facilities .................................................

54

F.

YWCA Fernhurst Model Ka Hale Ho‘āla Hou No Nā Wāhine........................

55

CHAPTER 11
HAWAI‘I SHOULD DEVELOP A PLAN TO BRING ALL OF ITS MAINLAND PRISONERS BACK TO
HAWAI‘I AND TO STOP USING PRIVATE PRISONS ............................................................... 57
CHAPTER 12
THE STATE SHOULD SUPPORT FEDERAL JUSTICE REFORM LEGISLATION THAT WOULD
BENEFIT HAWAI‘I ...............................................................................................................

59

A.

Expanding Prison Education Opportunities .................................................

59

B.

Ending Collateral Consequences for Justice-Involved Individuals ................

60

C.

Streamlining Federal Compassionate Release .............................................

60

CHAPTER 13
NEW JAILS AND PRISONS WON’T SOLVE HAWAI‘I’S CORRECTIONAL PROBLEMS. THE STATE
NEEDS NEW THINKING, BETTER IDEAS, AND A COMMITMENT TO REHABILITATION RATHER
THAN PUNISHMENT........................................................................................................... 62
A.

The Difference Between Jails and Prisons ...................................................

63

B.

Criminal Justice Policies Drive the Jail and Prison Population ......................

64

C.

Most of the OCCC Inmates are Relatively Low-Level Offenders and the
Mentally Ill .................................................................................................

64

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CHAPTER 14
COLLABORATION IS THE KEY TO PLANNING A JAIL THAT IS AFFORDABLE, SAFE, EFFECTIVE,
AND MEETS THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY ................................................................... 67
A.

Collaboration and Community Input is a Best Practice ...............................

67

B.

PSD Has Not Engaged the Community in the Jail Planning Process in a
Meaningful Way .........................................................................................

69

CHAPTER 15
THE FIRST QUESTION ANY COMMUNITY CONTEMPLATING A NEW JAIL SHOULD ASK IS NOT
“HOW BIG IT SHOULD IT BE?” BUT “HOW SMALL CAN WE MAKE IT?” ............................... 71
A.

Jail Planning Requires Community Engagement..........................................

71

B.

Strategies to Reduce the Jail Population .....................................................

71

CHAPTER 16
DESIGNING JUSTICE—CREATING MORE HUMANE AND REHABILITATIVE JAILS ...................

78

CHAPTER 17
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ..........................................................................

81

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE HCR 85 TASK FORCE ................................................

83

ENDNOTES .........................................................................................................................

95

xii

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Hawai‘i has undergone many changes in the past forty years, but perhaps none have been as
dramatic as the changes in its correctional system. In just four decades, Hawai‘i’s combined jail
and prison population (i.e., the State’s total incarcerated population) increased 670%, and its
incarceration rate (the number of prisoners per 100,000 population) increased 400%. Our
combined jail and prison population as of July 31, 2018, was 5,570, which is down about 9% from
2005, but is still an extremely high number given Hawai‘i’s relatively small population. By way
of comparison, Hawai‘i has about the same number of prisoners as Sweden, even though Sweden
has six times the population of Hawai‘i. Although our incarceration rate is relatively low for the
United States, if Hawai‘i was a country, it would rank in the top twenty incarcerators in the world.
By the mid-1990s, Hawai‘i's prisons had become so overcrowded, and resistance to building new
facilities in the islands so entrenched, that the State began sending prisoners to privately operated
prisons on the United States mainland, a practice that continues to this day. As of July 31, 2018
Hawai‘i had 1,347 prisoners at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, operated by
CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America). The State also houses about 150
prisoners at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu. Hawai‘i is one of only five states that have
20% or more of their prisoners in private facilities, but even with all the outsourcing, Hawai‘i's
prisons and jails are severely overcrowded. They are also in very poor condition and, in some
cases, probably do not meet minimum constitutional standards.
The high number of prisoners has led to ever-increasing costs. Hawai‘i's corrections budget is
over $226 million per year, and the Department of Public Safety (PSD) has estimated that a new
1,380-bed jail to replace the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) would cost about
$525 million, or $380,000 per bed. The State also plans to spend $45 million to expand the
Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) to accommodate the women now held at
OCCC. Further, the State plans to build new medium security housing units at the prisons on
Maui, Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i island. If Hawai‘i decided to build a prison in the islands to
accommodate the 1,347 prisoners in Arizona, the cost would be about $512 million (assuming the
same per-bed cost as the jail), bringing the total for a new jail and prison to over $1 billion.
Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars Hawai‘i spends on corrections each year, our
correctional outcomes, while improving, are consistently poor. The recidivism rate for parolees is
53.3%. For prisoners who serve their maximum sentence (“max out”), the rate is 66.0%. Nearly
two-thirds (63.2%) of recidivists reoffended within the first twelve months, and 88.9% reoffended
within twenty-four months. The three-year recidivism rate for those who commit property crimes
is 69.8%, and there are sometimes more than three hundred probation violators locked up at OCCC.
Hawaii's correctional system disproportionately incarcerates citizens of Native Hawaiian ancestry.
Native Hawaiians and part-Native Hawaiians make up approximately 21% of the general
population, but 37% of the prison population. A landmark study by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs
in 2010 reported that Native Hawaiians are overrepresented at every stage of the criminal justice
system. Despite numerous studies and recommendations going back at least to the 1980s, the State
has not taken effective steps to address the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal
justice system.

xiii

Hawai‘i’s prisons have serious problems with suicides and sexual assaults, and the State lacks an
independent oversight commission to investigate prison conditions and how inmates are treated.
Finally, Hawai‘i has more than six hundred elderly prisoners who will soon be developing agerelated illnesses that will consume a large portion of the Department of Public Safety’s medical
budget.
If we continue on the path we have been on for the past forty years, we can expect the same poor
outcomes and high recidivism rates we have experienced in the past, correctional costs will
consume an ever-increasing share of the state budget, we will probably face federal lawsuits over
the poor condition of our prisons and jails, and our communities will not be any safer despite the
hundreds of millions of dollars we spend on corrections.
To improve outcomes and bring costs under control, Hawai‘i should transition from a
punitive to a rehabilitative correctional system. In a rehabilitative system, the conditions of
confinement are humane, not punitive, and the prison staff are focused on helping prisoners deal
with the issues that brought them to prison.
The new model should be based on the spirit of goodwill and generosity found in the Aloha Spirit.
In addition, the State should adopt the proven best practices of the highly successful
Norwegian/European correctional system.
A rehabilitative correctional model based on "smart justice" and the humane treatment of prisoners
by correctional officers who are trained to prepare inmates for successful release into the
community will best serve the interests of Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i should also follow the lead of other
states that are focused on reducing prison populations, expanding community-based corrections,
and supporting effective offender reentry strategies.
In addition to making a paradigm shift in philosophy and approach, Hawai‘i should adopt a
comprehensive strategy to address the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiian in the
correctional system. This problem has persisted at least since the 1980s, and it is time to end it
once and for all. Our recommendations in this area focus on diverting Native Hawaiian youth
away from the criminal justice system, implementing culturally relevant programs throughout the
correctional system, and significantly improving support for Native Hawaiians as they leave prison
and reenter the community.
The problem is not simply that there are too many Native Hawaiians in the prison system, it is that
there are too many people in the system. The State should set numerical goals and a timetable
to significantly reduce our prison population. Setting numerical goals and a timetable is the
only way to measure progress and ensure accountability in reducing both our Hawaiian and nonHawaiian prison populations.
One of the keys to reducing the prison population is to downgrade offenses and shorten
sentences. Among the changes to the penal code that Hawai‘i should consider are: (1) making

xiv

certain offenses eligible for community-based sentences; (2) reducing the length and severity of
custodial sentences by redefining or reclassifying crimes or repealing mandatory penalties; (3)
shortening lengths of stay in prison by expanding opportunities to earn sentence credits, which
reduce time in custody and advance parole eligibility; and (4) reducing the number of people
entering prison for violations of community supervision by implementing evidence-based
practices, such as graduated responses to violations and community-based sanctions.
Oversight Commission. Prisons are closed institutions and, in a closed environment, abuse is
difficult to discover, prevent, and prosecute. That is why many jurisdictions have created
independent prison oversight commissions with broad authority to investigate and report on prison
conditions and prisoner abuse. We recommend the creation of an independent oversight
commission with broad authority to investigate and report on prison conditions and abuse. The
Commission should be adequately funded and staffed, and its chairperson should be appointed by
an elected official to a fixed term, confirmed by the Legislature, and subject to removal only for
cause.
We also strongly recommend that the State create and fund a transitional coordinator position and
an Implementation Commission to ensure that the transition to a rehabilitative system takes place
in an efficient, orderly, and timely manner and there are regular reports to the Legislature on the
progress of the transition.
Improved Programs. Effective programs are essential for a successful rehabilitative system.
Hawai‘i is in the process of evaluating its programs, but the evaluations have not been made public.
The State should continue its evaluations, but the results should be made public. The Department
of Public Safety should terminate programs that are not evidence-based or not producing positive
results. Program funding should focus on education, literacy, substance abuse, and sex offender
treatment. Programs should have adequate staffing so that inmates can complete all required
programs by the time they are first eligible for parole.
Corrections Academy. Hawai‘i does not provide standardized education and training for
correctional workers. An untrained or poorly trained staff contributes to poor outcomes, an unsafe
workplace, poor morale, and an inefficient workforce. The Task Force recommends that the State
establish a Corrections Academy to ensure that the education and training needed by correctional
personnel in the executive and judicial branches of government are delivered in a standardized and
effective manner. The Corrections Academy should also collect and analyze data and recommend
changes to the correctional system based on data analysis and best practices.
Reentry Plans. Preparing prisoners to reenter the community should begin the day they enter
prison. Every inmate should be provided with an individualized reentry plan tailored to his or her
risk of recidivism and programmatic needs. Reentry plans should be updated and revised
continuously until the time of release and, while in prison, inmates should be provided education,
employment training, life skills, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and other programs
that target their criminogenic needs and maximize their likelihood of success upon release. To
remedy gaps in education and employment skills, prisons should ensure that their educational
programs expand the quality, scope, and delivery of both the academic and job training curricula,
particularly for those with literacy and special learning needs.

xv

While incarcerated, every inmate should be provided with the resources and opportunity to build
and maintain family relationships, thereby strengthening the support system available to them upon
release. The State should also contract with non-profit corporations to increase the number and
quality of halfway houses, and make those halfway houses therapeutic centers where gains made
in prison can be sustained and strengthened. Before leaving prison, every inmate should be
provided with comprehensive reentry-related information and access to resources necessary to
succeed in the community.
PSD should create a unit dedicated to finding appropriate housing for difficult-to-place inmates,
such as those who are elderly, disabled, mentally ill, or have chronic illnesses. The State should
designate Leahi Hospital as the default placement for compassionate release prisoners who require
intermediate or acute levels of care.
Hawai‘i should make a commitment that, upon release, all prisoners will have: (1) a decent place
to live; (2) a state identification card, a social security card, and a birth certificate; (3) health
insurance and, if necessary, financial assistance benefits; (4) employment if the individual is
employable; (5) ongoing addiction and/or mental health treatment; and (6) access to wellness
centers rooted in Native Hawaiian values.
Finally, the State should identify statutes that erect barriers to reentry and determine whether they
should be continued, amended, or terminated.
Treatment Courts. Treatment courts are an effective and efficient way to reduce the prison
population and recidivism rate. Hawai‘i currently has treatment courts for drug, mental health,
and veterans’ issues, but there is a waiting list for admission to these courts. We recommend
expanding the treatment courts to accommodate everyone who qualifies for admission to these
highly successful programs.
Bail Reform. Last year, the Legislature created a task force to study pretrial procedures, including
bail reform (HCR 134 (2017)). We do not know what that task force will recommend, but reducing
the pretrial population by just 50% could save the State more than $45,000 per day, or $16 million
per year. Reducing the number of pretrial detainees by 50% would also mean that the State would
need about 250 fewer beds at the new jail, which would save hundreds of millions of dollars in
construction costs, not to mention millions of dollars more in savings from reduced maintenance
and operating costs over the life of the new jail.
Women Prisoners. Hawai‘i should recognize the behavioral and social differences between
female and male offenders and adopt gender-responsive policies, programs, and practices,
particularly with respect to trauma-informed care, developing healthy relationships, and providing
holistic support for women. More women should have the benefit of work furlough programs such
as the YWCA’s Fernhurst Ka Hale Ho‘āla Hou No Nā Wāhine (Home of Reawakening for Women)
which is trauma-informed, gender responsive, and culturally coherent.
Use of Private Prisons. Hawai‘i has been using private prisons since 1995. There has periodically
been talk of bringing the mainland prisoners back to Hawai‘i, but there are no concrete plans to do

xvi

so. We recommend that the State develop a plan to eliminate the use of private prisons and bring
Hawai‘i’s prisoners home. The plan should have a reasonable time table and be developed
collaboratively by government and community stakeholders. The public-private group that works
on the plan should have funding for staff and qualified experts to assist in exploring alternatives
and drafting the plan.
Support for Federal Programs. United States Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii has introduced
legislation to repeal the ban on Pell Grant eligibility for prisoners, allowing both state and federal
prisons to once again provide prison education. He is also working to ensure that the Second
Chance Pell Pilot Program receives adequate funding, and that the United States Department of
Education continues to implement the program. His other initiatives include urging colleges to
remove criminal history questions from their admissions processes, improving compassionate
release at the federal level, and improving the reporting requirements of the Prison Rape
Elimination Act (PREA). Senator Schatz’s efforts, particularly restoring Pell Grants to prisoners,
will benefit Hawai‘i and the State should actively support his efforts.
Stop the planning for a 1,380-bed jail on O‘ahu and expanding the prisons on the neighbor
islands. The State is moving ahead with plans to build a 1,380-bed jail to replace OCCC. On
August 28, 2018, Governor Ige announced that the new jail would be located at the site of the
Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa. The estimated cost of the new jail is $525 million, plus an
additional $45 million to expand the Women’s Community Correctional Center to accommodate
the women previously held at OCCC. The State is also planning a major expansion of the prisons
on Maui, Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i island.
Jail is often the beginning of a long journey through the criminal justice system. A study by the
Vera Institute of Justice found that "just a few days in jail can increase the likelihood of a sentence
of incarceration and the harshness of that sentence, reduce economic viability, promote future
criminal behavior, and worsen the health of those who enter—making jail a gateway to deeper and
more lasting involvement in the criminal justice system, at considerable costs to the people
involved and to society at large.”
Because jails can produce many undesirable outcomes and are extremely costly to build, maintain,
and operate, communities across the nation are reducing their jail populations through innovative
programs, such as diverting individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues to
alternative facilities; finding alternatives to bail for individuals who can be safely supervised in
the community while awaiting trial; having expedited hearings for prisoners who are jailed for
technical probation and parole violations; expediting indigence screening and program referrals;
issuing citations for low-level offenses instead of arrest and jail; and offering individuals charged
with low-level, non-violent offenses the option of being adjudicated in community courts instead
of in the criminal justice system.
The Department of Public Safety and its consultants have not engaged the community in the jail
planning process in a meaningful way, and they have not explored ways to reduce the jail
population and thereby reduce the size and cost of the new jail. The Task Force recommends that
the State immediately stop planning a large new jail to replace OCCC and establish a working

xvii

group of stakeholders and government officials to rethink the jail issue and create a jail that
is smaller, smarter, and less expensive than the one now under consideration.
Planning for the new jail should focus on diverting low-level, non-violent offenders away from
the criminal justice system, reforming the bail system to significantly reduce the number of pretrial
detainees who remain in jail pending trial, reducing the jail population by eliminating short jail
sentences in favor of community-based alternatives, housing the mentally ill in a separate facility
where they can be cared for by mental health professionals rather than correctional officers, and
creating alternative housing for sanctioned HOPE Probation violators and low-risk parole
violators.
This report provides a broad outline of the direction we think Hawai‘i’s correctional system should
take in the coming weeks, months, and years. We are confident that, if implemented, our
recommendations will result in a correctional system that represents the core values of Hawai‘i’s
people, reduces our prison population and recidivism rate, and makes our communities safer. The
Task Force also believes that this is the most cost-effective and sustainable path in the long run
and is in line with the reforms taking place in other states, as more people come to realize that a
punitive and retributive correctional system simply does not work.
Reforming our prison system is not a simple or inexpensive matter, but it must be done, and now
is the time to start. The alternative is to maintain the status quo, which means that the State will
spend over a quarter of a billion dollars a year to keep upwards of 27,000 of its citizens under some
form of correctional supervision without making our communities safer. Maintaining the status
quo also means that Hawai‘i will have to face the possibility of federal lawsuits over the condition
of its jails and prisons, civil lawsuits over prison suicides and medical negligence, ever-increasing
costs, and a continuing high recidivism rate. Hawai‘i would also become an outlier as other states
reform their correctional systems, reduce their prison populations and recidivism rates, and
improve community safety.

xviii

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE HCR 85 TASK FORCE
CREATE A NEW VISION
FOR CORRECTIONS IN
HAWAI‘I

REDUCE THE NUMBER
OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS
IN THE PRISON SYSTEM

EVALUATE, IMPROVE,
AND EXPAND EVIDENCEBASED PROGRAMS

Issue: Hawai‘i’s correctional
system is not producing
acceptable, cost-effective, or
sustainable outcomes, and it is
not making our communities
safe. The State spends over
$226 million a year on
corrections, but we have a
recidivism rate of over 50%
and more than 27,000 citizens
under some form of
correctional supervision.

Issue: Native Hawaiians make
up about 21% of the general
population, but 37% of the
prison population. This
overrepresentation has existed
for decades and has led to
intergenerational incarceration
for some Native Hawaiian
families.

Issue: Evidence-based
programs are an essential part
of the rehabilitation process
and are a cost-effective way to
reduce recidivism.

Recommendations:
1. Transition to a more
effective and sustainable
correctional system that
focuses on rehabilitation
rather than punishment.
2. Create an Implementation
Commission and
transitional coordinator
position to ensure that the
transition to a rehabilitative
system takes place in a
timely, efficient, and
effective manner.
3. Create an Oversight
Commission to
immediately address prison
suicides, sexual assaults,
and other unacceptable and
unlawful conditions in our
prison system.

Recommendations:
1. Develop evidence-based
early intervention strategies
that are focused on
diverting Native Hawaiian
youth away from the
criminal justice system and
toward pathways for
success.
2. Create cultural courts in the
criminal justice system.

Recommendations:
1. Ensure that every prisoner
is functionally literate by
the time of release
2. Expand opportunities for
prisoners to take
community college courses.
3. Create a prison-to-college
pipeline.
4. Restore funding to the
highly successful sex
offender treatment
program.

3. Expand in-prison Native
Hawaiian educational and
cultural programs.

5. Require prisoners to
participate in at least three
programs that address
criminogenic factors.

4. Make culturally relevant
reentry programs available
to Native Hawaiians.

6. Expand restorative justice
programs.

5. Implement the
recommendations of the
2012 Native Hawaiian
Justice Task Force.

4. Create a Corrections
Academy to train
correctional workers at all
levels in rehabilitative
philosophy and practices.

xix

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE HCR 85 TASK FORCE
IMPROVE THE REENTRY
PROCESS AND SUPPORT
THE DEVELOPMENT OF
NEW TRANSITIONAL
HOUSING

BUILD A NEW JAIL THAT
IS SMALLER AND
SMARTER THAN THE
JAIL NOW UNDER
CONSIDERATION

Issue: Hawai‘i does not have
an effective support system for
prisoners reentering the
community.

Issue: The State is planning to
spend over $525 million on a
new jail on O‘ahu, but it has
no plans or policies on how to
make the pretrial process—
from arrest to trial—more fair,
just, and efficient, and no plans
on how to reduce the jail
population and ensure that the
new jail does not become a
warehouse for the poor,
homeless, and mentally ill.

Recommendations:
1. At the time of release all
prisoners should have a
decent place to live, gainful
employment, health
insurance, identification,
and access to addiction and
mental health services.
2. Amend or eliminate
statutes that erect barriers
to reentry.
3. Create a unit within PSD to
locate housing for difficult
to place inmates who are
eligible for compassionate
release.
4. Designate Leahi Hospital
as the default placement for
compassionate release
prisoners who require
intermediate or acute levels
of care.
5. Expand and improve
transitional housing
through partnerships with
non-profit organizations.

Recommendations:
1. Stop any further jail
planning until there is a
plan to reduce the jail
population through
diversion, bail reform, and
other means, and ensure
that the jail houses only
those few individuals who
are a danger to society or a
flight risk.
2. Build the jail near the
courts, not in Halawa
Valley.
3. Build a jail that uses
clustered housing and
dynamic security.
4. Do not house the mentally
ill, or probation or parole
violators, in the new jail.

OTHER
RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Adopt a rehabilitative
vision and mission
statement, and
rehabilitative goals,
objectives, and strategies
for PSD.
2. Expand community-based
treatment programs as an
alternative to incarceration.
3. Expand the drug, mental
health, and veterans’
courts.
4. Reform the cash bail
system to reduce the jail
population.
5. Create a Sentencing
Reform Commission to
review the penal code with
the goal of downgrading
offenses and shortening
sentences.
6. Set numerical goals and a
timetable for reducing
Hawai‘i’s prison
population.
7. Support federal legislation
that would benefit Hawai‘i,
such as restoration of Pell
grants for prisoners.
8. Support the initiative to
create a BA and MA
program in
Criminology/Criminal
Justice at the University of
Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
9. Support a second round of
Justice Reinvestment for
Hawai‘i.

xx

CHAPTER 1
HAWAI‘I’S CORRECTIONAL POLICIES ARE NOT PRODUCING
ACCEPTABLE, COST-EFFECTIVE, OR SUSTAINABLE OUTCOMES
A.

F

The Explosive Growth of Hawai‘i’s Prison Population
or the past four decades, Hawai‘i’s prison and jail populations* have been increasing at an
alarming rate. From 1978 to 2016, the state population increased 53%, while the combined
jail and prison population (i.e., the state’s total incarcerated population) increased 670%,
from just 727 total prisoners in 1978 to 5,602 prisoners in 2016.1 In fact, during the 1980s,
the average annual increase in Hawai‘i’s prison population was the second highest in the
nation (17.7%).2

*

As used in this report, “prison” refers to a long-term facility that houses people who have been convicted of a
felony and sentenced to incarceration for one year or more. “Jail” refers to short-term facilities that primarily
house inmates awaiting trial, probation violators, and people sentenced to incarceration for less than one year,
typically misdemeanants.

1

As of July 31, 2018, Hawai‘i had a
combined jail and prison population
of 5,570.3
That is down
approximately 9% from 2005 when
the incarcerated population was at
its highest level (6,146 prisoners),
but it is still an extremely high
number considering Hawai‘i’s
relatively small population. By
comparison, Hawai‘i has about the
same number of prisoners as
Sweden, even though Sweden has
six times the population of Hawai‘i.4
Hawai‘i’s incarceration rate (the
number of prisoners per 100,000
population) currently stands at 3905
which is among the lowest in the nation.6 Nevertheless, if Hawai‘i was a country rather than a
state, it would rank among the top twenty incarcerators in the world.7

Hawai‘i’s correctional system includes not only those who are incarcerated, but also those on
probation and parole. As of June 30, 2017, Hawai‘i had 1,517 people on parole8 and 20,421 people
on probation,9 bringing the total number of people under some type of correctional supervision to
27,508.

2

Total Number of persons under correctional supervision in Hawai‘i FY 2016-2017
Incarcerated (Jail and Prison) On Probation On Parole
Total
5,570
20,421
1,517
27,508

B.

Hawai‘i’s Recidivism Rate for Parolees and Prisoners
Who “Max Out” is Over 50%

Recidivism refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior after receiving sanctions or
undergoing interventions for a previous crime.10 Recidivism is measured by criminal acts that
result in a new arrest, or the revocation of probation or parole within three years of the start of
supervision.11

The Interagency Council on Intermediate Sanctions (ICIS) collects and analyzes Hawai‘i
recidivism data. ICIS’s 2017 Update tracked the recidivism rates of 1,687 felony probationers,
775 parolees, and 291 maximum-term released prisoners for the period July 1, 2013, through June
30, 2014 (FY 2014).12
The recidivism rate for felony probationers was 41.4%, for parolees 53.3%, and for maximum term
prisoners 66.0%.13
The overall recidivism rate for the entire FY 2014 study cohort was 47.3%.14 From the supervision
start date on July 1, 2013, 63.2% of the recidivists reoffended within the first 12 months, 88.9%
reoffended within 24 months, and 11.1% reoffended within 24-36 months.15

3

The overall FY 2014 recidivism rate was 28.8% lower than the 1999 recidivism rate and was just
short of the State’s goal of reducing recidivism in Hawai‘i by 30%.16 Property crime offenders
had the highest total recidivism rate (69.8%), while sex offenders had the lowest rate (35.2%).17
The recidivism rate was significantly higher for males (50.6%) than females (38.0%).18 Among
ethnic groups, the recidivism rate for Native Hawaiians and part-Native Hawaiians was highest
(58.6%) followed by 50.0% for Samoans, 47.3% for Japanese, 46.0% for Caucasians, 39.5% for
Filipinos, and 39.3% for all others.19

4

C.

Native Hawaiians are Overrepresented in the
Criminal Justice System

Hawai‘i disproportionately incarcerates citizens of Native Hawaiian ancestry. Native Hawaiians
and part-Native Hawaiians make up approximately 21% of the general population,20 but 37% of
the prison population.21

A landmark study by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in 2010 reported that Native Hawaiians are
overrepresented at every stage of the criminal justice system.22 Despite numerous studies and
recommendations going back at least to the 1980s, the State has not taken effective steps to address
the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice system.23

D.

Hawai‘i’s Prisons are Old, Dilapidated, and
Overcrowded

Hawai‘i’s prisons are old, dilapidated, and severely overcrowded. Hawai‘i Community
Correctional Center is currently operating at 185% of capacity, Maui Community Correctional
Center is operating at 151% of capacity, Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center is operating at
196% of capacity, and OCCC is operating at 127% of capacity.24

5

At OCCC, three prisoners are crowded into cells designed for two. As a result, one of the prisoners
must sleep on the floor with his head next to the toilet. Faced with the lack of available cells,
OCCC has so many prisoners crowded into one module that it is known as the “Thunderdome”.25
Conditions are so bad throughout the State that most facilities probably do not meet minimum
constitutional standards.26

E.

Most Hawai‘i Prisoners are Incarcerated for
Relatively Low-Level Offenses

Many people believe that Hawai‘i’s prisons are filled with extremely dangerous and violent
prisoners, but that is a misconception. The vast majority (72%) are incarcerated for relatively lowlevel offenses, i.e., class C felonies or below (misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors, technical
offenses, or violations).27 Only 28% are serving sentences for the more serious class A and B
felonies,28 and not all of the A and B felonies are for violent crimes, many are for drug offenses.
Additionally, 53% of Hawai‘i prisoners are classified as minimum or community custody
inmates.29

Source: Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety
HCR 85 Data Spreadsheet, July 31, 2018

Source: Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety
HCR 85 Data Spreadsheet, July 31, 2018

6

F.

Hawai‘i Has an Aging Prison Population that Will
Cost the State Millions of Dollars for Health Care in
the Near Future

Hawai‘i has over 650 prisoners 55 years of age or older.30 There is a growing body of evidence
that at around age 55, prisoners start to develop health problems associated with people much older
than 55 and consume a disproportionate share of the cost of prison health care.31 A 2011 article in
the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that the average cost of health care for just 21 seriously
ill prisoners in California (0.01% of the state's prison population) exceeded $1.97 million per
prisoner.32
The Task Force questions whether the State has the resources to provide adequate medical care to
the large number of elderly prisoners, particularly in light of Slingluff v. State of Hawai‘i, which
holds that the State has a legal duty to provide prisoners with the same level of medical care as is
provided to patients who are not in prison.33 Several recent settlements and damages awards to
prisoners of $1 million or more reinforce the Task Force’s concern about the State's ability to
adequately care for an aging prison population.34

G.

Suicides Are an All Too Common Occurrence in
Hawai‘i Prisons

Although the suicide rate for Hawai‘i prisons varies from year to year, in the eight-month period
between June 15, 2017, and January 20, 2018, there were five suicides at correctional facilities in
Hawai‘i.35 Two of the deaths were at the Women’s Community Correctional Center,36 which
houses about 270 prisoners.37 The deaths have been or are being investigated by the Department
of Public Safety, but to our knowledge no outside experts have been consulted about the situation
and the Department of Public Safety has consistently asserted that there is nothing wrong with its
suicide prevention policies or staff training.38

H.

The High Cost of Corrections is Not Sustainable

The more than $226 million Hawai‘i spends annually on corrections39 is barely enough to maintain
the system at its current level. The Departments of Public Safety and Budget and Finance estimate
that a new 1,380-bed jail to replace OCCC will cost $525 million40, or $380,000 per bed. Because
the new jail is for men only, the State plans to spend $45 million to expand the Women’s
Community Correctional Center in Kailua to house the women previously held at OCCC.41 If the
State were to build a new prison to house the 1,347 Hawai‘i inmates on the mainland at the same
per bed cost as the jail, it would need an additional $512 million, bringing the total cost of a new
jail and prison to over $1 billion. In addition, the State plans to build new medium security housing
at the jails on Maui, Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i island, at an as yet undetermined cost.42

7

Hawai‘i currently spends over $93,000 per day to house pretrial detainees at OCCC and $52,000
per day to house probation violators at OCCC.
Daily and Annual Cost of Housing One Prisoner for One Day at OCCC
PRISONERS STATUS
Pretrial Detainees
Probation Violators

DAILY COST
$93,936 per day
$52,744 per day

ANNUAL COST
$34 million per year
$19 million per year

Source: Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety, End of Month Population Report,
July 31, 2018, and September 11, 2017 email from George King, PSD statistician.

I.

Hawai‘i is at a Crossroads

Hawai‘i is at a crossroads. If we continue on the path we have been on for the past four decades,
we can expect the same poor outcomes and high recidivism rates we have experienced in the past,
and our communities will not be safer despite the hundreds of millions of dollars we will spend on
corrections.
The Task Force believes that Hawai‘i must adopt a new and more sustainable correctional model
that includes ways to significantly reduce the Stateʻs prison population and recidivism rate. This
can be done by making greater use of community-based alternatives to incarceration and focusing
on the development of successful, evidence-based restorative and rehabilitative strategies for those
who go to prison.

8

CHAPTER 2
HAWAI‘I SHOULD TRANSITION TO A MORE JUST, EFFECTIVE, AND
SUSTAINABLE CORRECTIONAL MODEL THAT FOCUSES ON
REHABILITATION RATHER THAN PUNISHMENT
Every journey begins with a dream, a vision that can unite others. When people come together
around a set of shared values, they can achieve extraordinary things.
—Nainoa Thompson

H

awai‘i’s approach to corrections must begin with recognition of the fact that all but a few
of the men and women who go to prison will one day return to the community. They will
live in our neighborhoods, stand next to us in the elevator, sit next to us on the bus, and
wait in line with us at the supermarket. Some will have been in prison for a short time, others for
many years. Some will have committed serious crimes, some only minor offenses, but the time
they have spent in prison will have shaped their lives for better or worse. The question is: How
do we shape their lives for the better? How do we change the behavior that landed them in prison
and make them good citizens who we would want to live next door to us?
Prison reform is bringing liberals and conservatives together to an unprecedented consensus that
helping prisoners overcome the thinking, habits, impulses, and poor decision-making that landed
them in prison stands a far better chance of making a good citizen than a retributive and punitive
approach. The transformation from a punitive to a rehabilitative culture based on proven models
of combined sanctions and treatment will reduce recidivism and the prison population and
significantly reduce the cost of administering Hawai‘i’s criminal justice system.

A.

Our Prison System Should be Based Upon and
Reflect Hawai‘i’s Core Values

Although Hawai‘i has a diverse, multi-cultural
The degree of civilization in a society
population, many of its core values have deep
roots in the Native Hawaiian culture. The heart of can be judged by entering its prisons.
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Hawaiian culture is the spirit of generosity,
inclusiveness, acceptance, and good will
embodied in the word “aloha,” which means love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity,
kindness, sentiment, grace, and charity.43 These are integral components of Hawai‘i’s core values,
and over the years, they have found their way into proverbs that reflect aloha, such as:

9

1.

•

E wehe i ka umauma i - Be generous and kind to all (literally “open out the chest
that it may be spacious”).

•

‘O ka pono ke hana ‘ia a iho mai nā lani - Continue to do good until the heavens
come down to you.

•

ʻAʻohe lokomaikaʻi i nele i ke pānaʻi - No kind deed has ever lacked its reward.

•

E ʻōpū Aliʻi - Have the kindness, generosity, and even temper of a chief.

•

Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono - The life of the land is preserved in
righteousness. 44

Pu‘uhonua

Pu‘uhonua is another important Hawaiian concept. It means a place of refuge, sanctuary, asylum;
a place of peace, safety, and healing.45 In 2015, a working group of Native Hawaiians led by
Renwick “Uncle Joe” Tassill founded Holomua Pu‘uhonua to explore ways that the concept of
pu‘uhonua could be used to build a stronger and more supportive community for prisoners. The
group received grants from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Administration for Native
Americans and is developing plans to help pa‘ahao (prisoners) transition back to the community.
Holomua Pu‘uhonua is represented on the Task Force, and we support their outstanding efforts to
develop successful re-entry programs by adapting ancient Hawaiian concepts to help 21st century
pa‘ahao (prisoners) and others.
2.

Ho‘oponopono

Revered scholar and cultural practitioner Mary Kawena Pukui defines ho‘oponopono as a process
to put something right, a mental cleansing, a family conference in which relationships are set right
through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.46
Scholars Richard and Lynette Paglinawan describe ho‘oponopono as a healing process that teaches
us to respect mana (an invisible connection that ties the living with the dead) and acknowledge
that there are higher powers that hold jurisdiction over us.47
Native Hawaiians have been using ho‘oponopono to “set things right” for centuries, and as the
Paglinawans have noted, since Native Hawaiians do not always respond well to Western
approaches, ho‘oponopono is a practice that can be used “on the healing journey.”

3.

The Aloha Spirit

Hawai‘i’s core values are found in the Aloha Spirit that for centuries has guided the lives of Native
Hawaiians. The characteristics of the Aloha Spirit are Akahai (kindness expressed with
tenderness), Lōkahi (unity expressed with harmony), ʻOluʻolu (agreeable expressed with
10

harmony), Haʻahaʻa (humility expressed with modesty), and Ahonui (patience expressed with
perseverance).48 “Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no
obligation in return. Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to
every other person for collective existence. Aloha” means to hear what is not said, to see what
cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.”49
We should keep the concepts of aloha, pu‘uhonua, and ho‘oponopono at the forefront of our
thinking as we seek ways to address the problems of 21st century pa‘ahao. Our correctional
system should be rooted in the values of Hawai‘i and should reflect the Aloha Spirit in all of its
manifestations.

B.

Hawai‘i’s Correctional System Should Incorporate
Key Elements of the Norwegian/European
Correctional Model

HCR 85 specifically calls on the Task Force to identify and analyze effective incarceration policies
used in other states and countries. In 2015, several of the Task Force members, including the chair,
traveled to Norway and spent a week visiting Norwegian correctional facilities and meeting with
correctional experts from Norway, Sweden, Ireland, and England. Norway is often regarded as
the world's most successful prison system because of its humane conditions and successful
outcomes, such as a 20% recidivism rate50 and a 63 per 100,000 population incarceration rate51
(compared to Hawai‘i's 390 per 100,000).
Although the Task Force does not believe that the Norwegian correctional model can be
transplanted in its entirety to Hawai‘i, we believe that Hawai‘i can benefit from identifying those
elements of the Norwegian system that can be imported with appropriate modifications to improve
our correctional system.52 Representatives of the Colorado and North Dakota correctional systems
have also studied the Norwegian and European models and are adopting them to meet their needs.
As Rick Raemisch, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections has said,
“Punishment doesn't work . . . . Understanding that there may be cultural differences that would
not allow some methods to be successful here, we always need to explore and implement methods
[from other countries] that are proven to work.”53
Hawai‘i’s correctional system, like those in other states, is fundamentally punitive. Prisoners are
confined to small cells and deprived of liberty, privacy, autonomy, possessions, relationships with
family and friends, choices (about food, clothing, recreation, scheduling, and leisure activities),
heterosexual relationships, and many of the comforts of everyday living, such as a reasonably
peaceful, quiet, safe, and secure place to live.
Life in Hawai‘i’s prisons is highly structured, regulated, and regimented. It is fundamentally
different from life on the outside, and as a result, prisoners who spend a significant amount of time
in prison adjust to the structured environment and become “institutionalized”.54 Inmates
participate in rehabilitative programs, but the programs operate within a punitive rather than a
rehabilitative environment. Although Hawai‘i has many dedicated correctional officers, the
relationship between the inmates and guards is all too often an “us” versus “them” relationship
11

characterized by suspicion, hostility, and mistrust. Violence within the prison system is common.
The Task Force members who visited Norway describe a fundamentally different system in which
loss of freedom is viewed as the only punishment ordered by the court and is, therefore, the only
punishment prisoners should experience.55 They should not be further punished by isolation,
deprivation, or harsh conditions of confinement. In fact, one of the basic tenants of the Norwegian
system is that rehabilitation is most successful when conditions within the prison resemble life on
the outside as closely as possible (the “normality principle”).56
In Norway, prisoners live in private rooms that have a comfortable bed, a desk, a television, and a
private bathroom with a toilet, shower, and wash basin. Guards knock before entering a prisoner's
room, and prisoners wear street clothes and live relatively normal lives—they go to work or school,
shop for food, cook their meals, do house cleaning, socialize, watch television, read, and listen to
music. Prisoners have frequent contact with family, and those who demonstrate trustworthiness
are allowed increasingly greater privileges and are eventually allowed to spend weekends at home
with their families. Prison staff are graduates of a two-year academy where they study law,
psychology, human rights, and ethics, and they serve as social workers, guidance counselors,
mentors, and role models for inmates. Security is maintained by having the staff closely interact
with inmates on a daily basis. Because inmates have a close relationship with staff, fights among
inmates and inmate attacks on guards are virtually unknown. Prisoners learn to trust and respect
staff, and staff learn to trust and respect prisoners. Inmates earn privileges and, over time, move
from high to medium to low security prisons and eventually to halfway houses. When they are
finally released, Norwegian prisoners are guaranteed housing, a job that provices adequate income,
education, health care, and, if needed, mental health or addiction treatment.57
The main elements of the Norwegian corrections system are:
1.

The Normality Principle

As noted above, the normality principle states that life in prison should, to the
greatest extent possible, mirror conditions outside of prison. It also holds that: (1)
loss of freedom should be the only punishment; (2) conditions of confinement
should not be punitive; (3) prisoners should be placed in the lowest possible security
regime; and (4) sentences should be as short as possible to reduce the possibility of
prisoners becoming “institutionalized,” which makes reentry more difficult.58
2.

Dynamic Security

Dynamic security is a concept and working method by which prison staff interact
closely with prisoners, and through the interaction seek to better understand the
needs of the prisoners, assess the risk they may pose to staff and other prisoners,
and improve safety and security while contributing to the prisoner’s rehabilitation
and preparation for release.59 With dynamic security, prison staff develop positive
and trusting relationships with prisoners. They make sure that prisoners are kept

12

busy with constructive and purposeful activities and assist prisoners in completing
the programs that are prerequisites to release. Dynamic security gives prison staff
high quality intelligence about what is going on in the facility and reduces the
chances of violence and escape. In Norwegian prisons, fights rarely break out
because disputes between and among prisoners are detected and dealt with before
they erupt into violence.
3.

Import Model

The import model states that the services the prisoners require should be provided
by the government agencies that provide the services to citizens outside of the
prison.60 Prison staff should not provide medical, dental, educational, vocational,
library, or other services; those should be imported from the community. The
advantages of the import model are:

4.

•

Better continuity in the deliverance of services – the offender will already
have established contact with the service provider during his time in prison;

•

The community becomes involved with the prison system resulting in more
and better cross-connections and better community understanding of prison
and prisoners; and

•

The required services are provided and financed by the agencies that have
the knowledge, experience, and personnel to provide them effectively and
efficiently.
Progression Toward Reintegration

Progression through reintegration means that prisoners begin their sentence with a
relatively high level of security and gradually progress to lower levels, eventually
ending up in minimum security facilities, and then in halfway houses, unless
security concerns dictate otherwise.61
The Task Force believes that a rehabilitative correctional system built around
Native Hawaiian values and that uses the Norwegian/European correctional
philosophy will best meet the needs of Hawai‘i. We recognize that such a system
must be implemented gradually, with great care and intelligence, and if necessary,
with pilot programs, but we are confident that it is the best path forward for our
State.

13

C.

Prison Reform in Hawai‘i Should be Guided by
Successful Programs and Best Practices in Other
States
1.

The Main Areas of Reform Across the Nation

The Vera Institute of Justice reported that in 2014 and 2015, forty-six states made
201 changes to their sentencing and corrections laws based on research showing
that: (1) longer sentences have little effect in reducing recidivism and shorter
sentence lengths do not have a significant negative impact on public safety; (2)
many offenders can be safely and effectively supervised in the community at lower
cost; and (3) post-punishment penalties and restrictions (the collateral
consequences of criminal conviction) make it more difficult for those released from
prison to live law-abiding lives.62
The main areas of reform across the country were:
Pre-Arrest Diversion. To divert individuals with mental illness and addiction
problems, and those who have committed low-level, non-violent offenses, away
from the criminal justice system and to agencies and programs that will help them.
Expanding Use of Treatment Courts. To divert people from the correctional
system through drug courts, mental health courts, domestic violence courts, and
veterans’ courts.
Reducing the penalties for property crimes and drug offenses. To make the
penalties for low-level drug and property crimes more proportional and reduce jail
and prison populations.
Creating "safety valves" for mandatory sentences. To allow judges to depart
from statutory mandatory minimum sentences, if deemed appropriate, or if
designated criteria are met.
Creating evidenced-based re-entry programming and services. To support
former inmates and reduce the chances of reoffending.
Increasing opportunities for early release. To expand the ways prisoners can
shorten their sentences through participation in programming or compliance with
disciplinary rules.
Facilitating access to public benefits. To help previously incarcerated people
obtain the documentation needed to receive public benefits (housing, health care,
and employment).
Easing the harmful impact of fees and fines. To facilitate reintegration and get
14

a fresh start after life in prison.
Limiting access to criminal history information. To help former prisoners find
employment that pays a living wage.
Supporting family relationships. To encourage family visitation and assist
children of incarcerated parents.
Bail Reform. To reduce jail populations and jail costs, while maintaining public
safety.
2.

How Five States Significantly Reduced Their Prison Populations

In September 2018, the Sentencing Project published a report on how five states—
Connecticut (CT), Michigan (MI), Mississippi (MS), Rhode Island (RI) and South Carolina
(SC)—reduced their prison populations by 14% to 25% over an eight- to ten-year period.63
Each of the five geographically and politically diverse states enacted a range of policy
changes to achieve the reductions, and all five were involved in the Justice Reinvestment
Initiative process. The report highlights some of the key factors in successful prison reform
and some of the policy options that are available to legislators and stakeholders who seek
to significantly reduce their state's prison populations.
Leadership. In all five states, justice reform had high profile leadership. In two states—
Michigan and Connecticut—reform was led by the Governor. In Mississippi, reform was
led by a Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force. In Rhode Island, a Justice
Reinvestment Working Group took the lead, and in South Carolina, three Commission
Working Groups focused on reform by revising sentencing guidelines, the parole system,
and alternatives to incarceration.
Community Participation. In all five states the reform effort included a diverse group of
public and private stakeholders. Michigan organized community leaders into a prison
reform advisory council and formed regional steering and planning teams across the state
to build support for change and promote collaboration. Connecticut created a Sentencing
and Parole Review Task Force that included, among others, public defenders, civil rights
groups, and the ACLU of Connecticut. The Criminal Justice Task Force that spearheaded
reform in Mississippi included legislators, judges, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors,
public defenders, the department of corrections, local officials, and community justice and
civil rights groups. Rhode Island’s Justice Reinvestment Working Group included
community advocates and treatment professionals and organizations, and South Carolina’s
sentencing and oversight committee included both legislators and members of the public.
Resources and Expertise. All five states reached out to public and private organizations
for funding and expertise. Michigan received technical assistance from the National
Institute of Corrections (NIC), the National Governors Association, and the Council of
State Governments. Michigan obtained funding and research support from national, state,

15

and local foundations as well as the state’s major universities. Rhode Island partnered with
Justice Reinvestment, and Mississippi received assistance from the Pew Charitable Trusts
and the Crime & Justice Institute at Community Resources for Justice. South Carolina
partnered with the Pew Center on the States, the Criminal Justice Institute, and Applied
Research Services, Inc., for expertise in data gathering, analysis, development of potential
reform approaches, and forecasts of reform impact on population and costs.
Policies and Practices Used to Reduce Prison Populations. The policies and practices
that led to reduced prison populations generally fell into four broad categories.
a.

b.

c.

Reducing Prison Admissions
•

All five states reduced criminal penalties or adjusted penalties
according to the seriousness of the offense.

•

Four states eliminated mandatory minimum sentences, in some
cases retroactively (CT, MI, RI, SC).

•

Four states created or expanded specialty courts and/or other
alternatives to incarceration (CT, MI, MS, SC).

•

Two states modified their response to at-risk youth to disrupt the
school-to-prison pipeline (CT, SC).

Reducing Incarceration for Those Who Fail Community Supervision
•

Four states created graduated, intermediate sanctions for noncriminal violations of conditions of parole and/or probation (CT,
MI, MS, SC).

•

Three states improved collaboration between state and local
governments on case management and supervision (CT, MI, RI).

•

Three states put greater emphasis on intermediate outcomes (CT,
MI, RI).

•

Three states shortened the time of community supervision (MS, RI,
SC).

Facilitating Release
•

All five states incorporated dynamic risk and needs assessment into
their justice processes.64

•

Four states reduced barriers to release (CT, MI, RI, SC).

16

d.

•

Three states implemented conditional release approval before
eligibility for release (CT, MI, RI, SC).

•

Three states used feedback to releasing authorities regarding
outcomes to build trust in reentry (CT, MI, RI).

•

Three states used centralized reentry planning, trained specialists,
and a goal of release at the earliest opportunity (CT, MI, MS).

•

Three states simplified and/or expedited release processing
especially when backlogged (CT, MI, RI).

Requiring Less Time Served Before Eligibility for Release
•

Four states provided allowance or expansion of sentence credits
through a variety of measures (CT, MS, RI, SC).

•

Three states reduced criminal penalties even for those still in prison
(CT, MI, SC).

•

Two states modified their policy on aggravating factors for sentence
enhancement (MS, SC).

•

Two states reduced time served prior to eligibility for repeat paroles
after revocation (MI, MS).

Lessons Learned. The report lists six lessons to be learned from the states that have been
successful in achieving effective and sustainable prison population reduction reforms:
•

Adequate funding is critical to achieving reform. The states reported that
inadequate funding was an obstacle to achieving reforms. Enacting
statutory mandates without adequate funding delayed reforms and resulted
in some reforms failing to achieve full benefits or never being implemented.

•

Projected cost savings are difficult to achieve and actual savings are
often overstated. In particular, the states found that forecasts regarding
expected cost savings were either faulty or overly optimistic, and that
forecast savings were sometimes offset by missed or unanticipated expenses
such as escalating prison health care costs.

•

The goals of reform must be explicit. Conditions that are not specifically
targeted by reform may remain unchanged. For example, several states
found that reforms intended to reduce the prison population did not
necessarily have a positive effect on the goal of reducing racial disparity.

17

D.

•

The basic goal of Justice Reinvestment was not achieved. The original
concept of Justice Reinvestment was to put the savings generated by prison
reform to work helping neighborhoods recover from overuse of
incarceration and enhancing housing, health care, education, and
employment. The five states in the report have been successful in
transferring resources within the justice system from prisons to community
supervision, but they did not achieve the goal of providing funds for
housing, health, education, and other community programs and services.

•

Broad prison reform requires focusing on issues beyond population
reduction. To enable sustained or deeper prison population reductions
there is a need for: (1) post-incarceration employment solutions; (2) reentry
solutions for more serious or higher risk cases who are typically excluded
from reforms; (3) adequate community funding solutions; and (4) rigorous
monitoring and evaluation of justice reform implementation to propel
change.

•

Enhancing penalties for violent offenses reduced the impact of
sentencing reforms. Policymakers in some states enacted harsher penalties
for violent offenses as part of a reform “package” that included reduced
penalties for non-violent offenses. This is a problematic strategy for two
reasons: (1) it inherently reduces the potential decarceration impact of
sentencing reform; and (2) research has documented that enhancing already
harsh sentences adds little crime deterrent effect and produces diminishing
returns for incapacitation effects.

Prison Reform in North Dakota

My job is to rehabilitate people. You can’t do that if you treat people inhumanely.
—Leann Bertsch, Director of the North Dakota
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
One state that has attracted national attention is North Dakota, which in the past four years has
implemented an impressive array of system-wide changes to transition to the Norwegian/European
correctional model and make its prison system more humane and effective.65 Some of the
relatively inexpensive (or no cost) reforms North Dakota has implemented include:
•

Transitioning approximately 80% of the prisoners held in solitary confinement to
general population housing and finding new uses for the cells previously used to isolate
prisoners.

•

Limiting the use of administrative segregation (solitary confinement).

18

•

Expanding administratively segregated prisoners' access to treatment and socialization,
including group therapy, increased motivational interviews with staff, increased outof-cell time, enrichment activities, and social interaction.

•

Revising the qualifications for correctional officer positions to emphasize a dual role
focused on both security and positive prisoner engagement.

•

Adopting new policies that eliminate many of the restrictions on community members
who can tour their facilities and actively encouraging visitors.

•

Re-examining food options to promote better health and increase prisoners’ choice.

•

Hiring a new Director of Recreation to identify opportunities for prisoners and staff to
exercise and recreate together.

•

Adopting formal mechanisms by which correctional staff at all levels can suggest and
promote specific changes to policy and practice.

•

Revising each correctional facility's mission statement—with input from correctional
staff and some prisoners—to reflect a more professional and rehabilitation-oriented
approach to correctional practice.

•

Encouraging staff to think of creative ways to increase positive prisoner-staff
interaction.

•

Changing the policy governing staff-prisoner interactions from historical “don't touch
the inmates” to encouraging staff to shake hands with prisoners.

•

Changing the prisoner disciplinary system with the goal of shifting from roughly 300
potential behavioral violations to a “Ten Commandments” approach that emphasizes
treating others with dignity and respect, as one would in the community.

•

Changing procedures at their minimum security facility to allow residents to ride
bicycles throughout the property; walk an extensive network of trails unaccompanied
by staff; shop online for groceries; prepare their own food; take escorted trips into the
community to obtain job counseling services; take escorted trips into the community
for social interaction (get a cup of coffee, see a movie); and earn passes to leave the
facility unescorted, including for overnight home visits.

•

Opening a new transitional housing unit for those who have progressed to work release.
Residents in the transitional housing unit get their own keys, have single- occupancy
rooms at the facility, have access to a propane grill, and can request permission to leave
unescorted for family activities, such as attending a child’s high school graduation,
attending a mother's birthday party, or having dinner with family.

19

•

Normalizing life in their medium and maximum security prisons by, among other
things, starting a prison band that will give monthly concerts for staff and other
prisoners, placing potted plants throughout the facility, launching a recurring “family
night” where children under 10 years of age are invited into the facility’s auditorium to
watch a movie and eat popcorn with their dads, and piloting seasonal “family days” in
which prisoners’ children, significant others, and parents are invited into the facility for
an activity (e.g. pumpkin painting day, May Day).

20

CHAPTER 3
A NEW CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM REQUIRES A NEW VISION
AND NEW GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
A.

A New Vision Statement

Mālama kō aloha (Keep your Aloha no matter what the obstacles).
—Chiefess Manono66
Task Force members and community stakeholders, led by the Native Hawaiian subcommittee,
spent many hours looking at correctional models and best practices from other states and countries,
reflecting on our island heritage and values, and bringing together their varied experience to create
a shared vision of the future. The vision statement for Hawai‘i’s justice system that emerged from
this collective effort encompasses goals for both the civil and criminal justice systems:
A justice system that is rooted in our cultural values, protects our rights and
liberties, promotes safety, peace, understanding, and reconciliation, and through
its policies, procedures, decisions and personnel restores communities and affirms
the value of every person who comes into contact with the system.
Commentary on the Vision Statement
A.

The justice system should not just administer laws and maintain
order, it should focus on building, strengthening, and repairing
communities and making them safer.

B.

Every aspect of the justice system—courts, corrections, the
Judiciary, probation, parole, the Office of the Attorney General—
should grow out of and reflect the values of the people of Hawai‘i.

C.

The justice system should be a framework for promoting social
progress. Social progress is achieved by recognizing and promoting
the value of every member of society, including those who have
committed crimes.

21

B.

Guiding Principles, Goals, and Objectives for the
New Correctional System
GUIDING PRINCIPLE 1
Our justice system should focus on the root causes of crime, not just the symptoms.
Among the many causes of crime in our community are poverty, unemployment,
underemployment, racism, lack of affordable housing, substandard housing, lack
of education, mental illness, broken families, childhood trauma, abuse and neglect
that lead to drug and alcohol abuse.
Goals and Objectives:
1.

Reduce overreliance on incarceration as a response to social, economic, and
public health issues.
Objective 1:

Create and expand programs that divert low-level offenders
to community-based treatment programs.

Objective 2:

Reduce prison admissions by using incarceration as a last
resort, and only when necessary to protect public safety.

Objective 3:

Reduce the prison population at every possible opportunity
by reevaluating, restructuring, and expanding early release
and compassionate release programs.

2.

Eliminate the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice
and correctional systems.

3.

Break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration by providing support for
children of incarcerated parents and intervention programs that target atrisk youth.
Commentary on Guiding Principle 1
A.

As we focus on prison reform, we should not lose sight of the fact
that the best way to make our communities safer is to prevent crime
from happening in the first place. To do that, we need to address the
root causes of crime in our communities. This applies with
particular force to Hawai‘i’s children. Providing children with the
foundation they need from their earliest years to avoid delinquency
and ultimately crime is the surest way to consistently reduce our
prison population and incarceration rate. Social scientists have
identified many of the risk factors that lead to delinquency, and costeffective, evidence-based interventions that minimize or moderate
22

those risks. For example, a study that followed children who
participated in high-quality preschool and parent coaching programs
found they were 20% less likely to be arrested for a felony or to be
incarcerated as young adults than those who did not attend.67
Hawai‘i should launch a coordinated and consistent effort by the
Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services to provide
interventions to children who need it at each critical stage of
development, starting with prenatal care and continuing to young
adulthood. Investing in children will go a long way toward
preventing the onset of adult criminal careers and thus reduce the
burden of crime on victims and society.68
B.

Jails and prisons tend to produce poor outcomes. They may be
necessary, but they should be used only as a last resort and sentences
should be for the shortest time possible. Reducing the prison
population should be a top priority with clearly stated and
achievable goals.

C.

Despite numerous studies and reports on the overrepresentation and
disparate treatment of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice and
correctional systems, few, if any, steps have been taken to address
this problem.69 A concerted strategy should be developed, funded,
and implemented without further delay.

D.

Children of incarcerated parents are an extremely vulnerable
group. Having a parent in prison or jail has been linked to a
greater incidence of poor health, attention deficit disorder
(ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
behavioral problems, learning disabilities, anxiety, and
developmental delays. 70 To protect our children, it is imperative
that we break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration.
GUIDING PRINCIPLE 2

Our justice system must reaffirm each inmate’s inherent humanity and continuity
of citizenship despite his or her loss of freedom.
Goals and Objectives:
1.

Create a system of rehabilitation grounded in the culture and values of
Hawai‘i.
Objective 1:

Provide corrections officers with comprehensive training
that reinforces their purpose to positively motivate change
and promote inmate well-being, healing, and rehabilitation.
23

The training should include frequent refresher courses on the
latest correctional research and best practices.
Objective 2:

Support continuity in relationships between inmates and
their families by providing services and spaces to heal and
improve relationships with primary support networks.

Objective 3:

Provide
culture-based
programming.

and

culturally

competent

Commentary on Guiding Principle 2
A.

Loss of freedom should be the only punishment for those who go to
prison. Prisoners should retain all other rights of citizenship,
including the right to vote. Conditions in prison should not be
punitive; they should resemble life on the outside to the greatest
extent possible, and the focus of the correctional system should be
on rehabilitation.

B.

Correctional staff should receive extensive training on rehabilitative
philosophy, programs, and practices and serve as role models,
mentors, and counselors for inmates.

C.

Contact with family and friends is important for social reintegration
of prisoners.71
Prison administrators should encourage
communication with the outside world. Prisoners’ contacts should
be an entitlement, not a privilege, and should not be used as a reward
or punishment.
GUIDING PRINCIPLE 3

Hawai‘i’s justice system should focus on accountability and rehabilitation instead
of retribution.
Goals and Objectives:
1.

Promote community safety by reducing recidivism.
Objective 1:

Adopt the “Normality Principle,” which states that life inside
prison should resemble life in the community to the greatest
extent possible. The loss of freedom should be the only
punishment, and no prisoner should serve a sentence under
a higher security regime than is necessary.

24

Objective 2:

Adopt the “Import Model.” Partner with community service
providers and medical, educational, and faith-based
resources to support prison operations, programs,
rehabilitation, and reentry.

Objective 3:

Ensure stable community reintegration by providing
comprehensive post-release services.

Objective 4:

Adopt the “Dynamic Security Model.” The best security is
based on frequent, friendly and supportive interaction
between staff and inmates.

Objective 5:

Establish strong, thorough, and independent oversight to
ensure effective implementation of Task Force initiatives
and continued progress in perpetuity.

Commentary on Guiding Principle 3
A.

The logic of the normality principle is that the smaller the difference
between life inside and outside of prison, the easier the transition
from prison to freedom.72 Normality is also consistent with the
principle that loss of freedom is the only punishment. The normality
principle recognizes obvious exceptions for security and control that
are necessary in institutions like prisons.

B.

The import model supports normality in that the agencies that
provide services to people outside of prison also provide them to
those on the inside. Importing medical, educational, social, and
other services from the community is an efficient model and ensures
that prisoners receive the same quality of services as those who are
not in prison.

C.

Comprehensive post-release services should include decent
housing, employment, education, medical care, and mental health
and addiction services, if needed.

D.

Dynamic security means that correctional staff interact closely with
inmates and serve as counselors, mentors, role models, and life
coaches.73

25

C.

The Task Force’s Vision, Principles, Goals, and
Objectives are Consistent with the European
Prison Rules

Although the Task Force’s vision, principles, goals, and objectives were developed independently
and without consulting international standards, the Task Force’s recommendations are similar to
the Basic Principles of the European Prison Rules:74
1.

All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for their
human rights.

2.

Persons deprived of their liberty retain all rights that are not lawfully taken
away by the decision sentencing them or remanding them in custody.

3.

Restrictions placed on persons deprived of their liberty shall be the
minimum necessary and proportionate to the legitimate objective for which
they are imposed.

4.

Prison conditions that infringe upon prisoners’ human rights are not
justified by lack of resources.

5.

Life in prison shall approximate as closely as possible the positive aspects
of life in the community.

6.

All detention shall be managed so as to facilitate the reintegration into free
society of persons who have been deprived of their liberty.

7.

Cooperation with outside social services and as far as possible the
involvement of civil society in prison life shall be encouraged.

8.

Prison staff carry out an important public service and their recruitment,
training, and conditions of work shall enable them to maintain high
standards in their care of prisoners.

9.

All prisons shall be subject to regular government inspection and
independent monitoring.

The Task Force’s vision statement, guiding principles, goals, and objectives provide a sound
foundation for a more just, humane, effective, and sustainable correctional system. Adopting these
core principles is the first step in reforming our correctional system, reducing recidivism, and
making our communities safer.

26

CHAPTER 4
THE STATE MUST ADDRESS THE OVERREPRESENTATION OF NATIVE
HAWAIIANS IN THE CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM
A.

Background

S

cholars in various disciplines have documented the
historical and cultural trauma to Native Hawaiians
following contact with the West in the later part of
the 18th century. Disease decimated the population,75 the
social and economic structures that had supported a vital
and vibrant Hawaiian culture for centuries broke apart,76
the Hawaiian language was displaced by English,77 the
Hawaiian religion was displaced by Christianity,78 foreign
laws were introduced,79 and constitutional provisions that
limited the political power of Native Hawaiians and the
Hawaiian monarchy were forced on the government by an
armed militia.80 At the same time, land tenure underwent
radical changes with the Great Māhele and passage of the
Alien Land Ownership Act of 1850, the Kuleana Act of
1850, and the Adverse Possession law of 1870, all of
which, in one way or another, facilitated the transfer of
land from Native Hawaiians to foreigners.81
By 1893, Native Hawaiians had lost much of their land,
culture, laws, religion, political power, and language.
About all that remained was their sovereignty, and that
was taken away on January 17, 1893, when a small group of wealthy businessmen and sugar
plantation owners, aided by the United States Navy, overthrew the government of Queen
Lili‘uokalani.82
Colonialism, oppression, and the loss of sovereignty have had a continuing impact on the Native
Hawaiian community. In 2010, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) published a three- year
collaborative study that showed that Native Hawaiians are overrepresented at every stage of
Hawai‘i’s criminal justice system.83 The disproportionality begins with arrest and accumulates at
each stage in the system. According to the report, Native Hawaiians make up 24% of the State’s
population but account for 33% of pretrial detainees, 39% of the prison population, and 41% of
parole revocations.84 Native Hawaiians receive longer prison sentences than most other racial or
ethnic groups, they are more likely to go to prison if they are found guilty of a crime, and they are
27

disproportionately represented in the out-of-state prison population.85 They serve more time on
probation than any other ethnic group except Hispanics, and they make up the largest percentage
of people who return to prison for parole violations.86
The OHA study cites several probable causes for the
overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice
system, beginning with their marginalization through
colonialism and racism and continuing to the present where
Native Hawaiians have disproportionately high levels of
childhood trauma and abuse, high unemployment, high
underemployment, low educational attainment levels, low
income status, and significant involvement in the juvenile
justice system.87
In 2011 the Legislature created the Native Hawaiian Justice
Task Force (NHJTF) to make recommendations on how to
address the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the
criminal justice system.88
The NHJTF held hearings
throughout the State, and in 2012 issued a report that contained
48 findings and 38 recommendations, ranging from state
support for early intervention programs to assist Native
Hawaiians to dozens of changes to the criminal justice and
correctional systems.89
The NHJTF recommendations have not been implemented, and the State has resisted efforts by
the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation to expand religious and culturally based programs and
activities for Native Hawaiians incarcerated at private prisons in Arizona. Incredible as it may
seem, until very recently, Native Hawaiians at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona
were not allowed to correspond with their families in the Hawaiian language,90 even though
Hawaiian is one of the State’s two official languages.91
The 2010 OHA study found that:
To reduce the harmful effects of the criminal justice system on Native Hawaiians and all
people, Hawai‘i must take action, and seek alternative solutions to prison. Assistance and
training is needed in law enforcement, holistic interventions need to be implemented and
evaluated, and a cultural shift in the way we imprison a person must change. If not,
we will exacerbate prison over-crowding, and continue to foster the incarceration of
generations to come.92

The HCR 85 Task Force fully supports the above recommendation and strongly recommends that
Hawai‘i adopt a new vision for corrections and repatriate traditional Hawaiian cultural practices
that can restore harmony with ‘ohana (family), community, akua (spirit), and ‘āina (land). Only
by supporting intrapersonal healing can we successfully reintegrate pa‘ahao (prisoners) and break
the intergenerational cycle of incarceration.

28

B.

The Need for Community-Based Interventions for
At-Risk Native Hawaiian Children

A major study by Dr. Karen Umemoto and her colleagues at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
found that arrests of Native Hawaiian youth “far outdistance the frequency of arrest for all other
ethnic groups, comprising 65,251 or 41.6% of all juvenile arrests” over an eleven-year period.93
In fact, the number of arrests of Native Hawaiian youth was higher than the volume of the next
three ethnic groups combined.94

Source: Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Hawai‘i Juvenile Justice System 2000-2010, Final Report, June
2012

29

Considering the frequency of juvenile arrests by individuals, rather than by ethnicity, Native
Hawaiians again held the highest ranking of all ethnic groups:

Source: Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Hawai‘i Juvenile Justice System 2000-2010, Final
Report, June, 2012

The study also found that Native Hawaiian youth disproportionately experienced negative
outcomes at critical decision points in the juvenile justice process:
At the statewide level, Native Hawaiian juveniles experienced disproportionately negative
outcomes at every decision point for status offense arrests and at seven of eight decision
points for law violations. The greatest degree of disproportionality can be seen at the point
of arrest, with a rate of arrest 1.68 times higher than that of whites for law violations and
1.98 times that of whites for status offenses. For status offense arrests, Hawaiian cases
were petitioned at a rate 1.68 times higher than for whites. For law violation arrests,
Hawaiians were diverted at a lower rate than Whites (0.78). . . . In sum, there was no
decision point at which Native Hawaiians clearly fared better than the comparison group
and almost every decision point resulted in disproportionate overrepresentation.95

The study identified some of the factors that contribute to the disproportionate minority contact
and the number of youth in the juvenile justice system including a lack of alternatives for diversion
at the point of arrest, gaps in the continuum of care for youth, inadequate support for families of
arrested youth, a lack of programs for chronic offenders and youths in need of specialized services,
and policies and procedures that are outdated, ineffective, or need to be revisited.

30

The report reached two major conclusions:
First, it is clear from this profile that the majority of adjudicated youth have experienced
some type of hurt or trauma that contributes to behavior that is disruptive or harmful to
themselves or others, and without help in healing these wounds and recovering a stable and
healthy home life, it will be difficult for them to reach their full potential in life and, for
some, to live free and clear of the justice system . . . [U]nless these impacts are addressed
and healing and recovery is achieved, harmful and hurtful (to self as well as others)
behaviors will likely persist regardless of continued involvement in the justice system.
Second, there are important implications of these data for reducing disproportionate
minority contact, particularly among Native Hawaiians who comprise the largest single
ethnic group in the juvenile justice system. In light of the unique challenges and assets
among Native Hawaiian youth . . . addressing family issues is critical to the successful
outcomes of youth. These data also show that building on Hawaiian cultural values that
would support the healing, reconciliation, recovery, restitution, forgiveness, and rebuilding
processes could provide a firm foundation to accomplish that. Bringing in caring role
models, especially male role models for boys, can also begin to address the lack of positive
relationships with paternal guardians. And finally, the high frequency of depression and
other emotional and psychological conditions suggests that culturally appropriate
approaches that are more holistically focused on healing may be necessary to address the
more deeply embedded problems that manifest in delinquent activity.96

The report ends with a series of recommendations on ways to reduce minority contact with the
juvenile justice system, noting that programs designed to bring about behavioral changes by
facilitating personal health, growth, and development were effective, while programs oriented
towards instilling discipline through regimen or fear are not. The most effective programs are
restorative (restitution, victim-offender mediation), skill building (cognitive-behavioral
techniques, and social, academic, vocational skill building), counseling (group family and
individual counseling and mentoring), and multiple coordinated services (case management, wrap
around services).97
Some progress has been made in addressing disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile
justice system since Dr. Umemoto’s study was published in 2012, most notably the passage of Act
208, Session Laws of Hawai‘i 2018 which authorizes the Hawai‘i Youth Correctional Center to
create, operate, and maintain the Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center on its 600-acre site
in Kailua, O‘ahu. The new center will provide mental health services and programs, substance
abuse treatment crisis shelters for homeless youth, crisis shelters for victims of human and sex
trafficking, vocational training, family counseling, and other programs to meet the needs of youth
and young adults. This is a good beginning, but more needs to be done, and the Task Force
recommends that the State implement more of the recommendations in Dr. Umemoto’s report.
This is critically important to prevent the at-risk and delinquent youth, and particularly Native
Hawaiian youth, from ending up in the adult criminal justice system.

31

C.

Create Cultural Courts to Divert Native Hawaiians
Away from the Criminal Justice System

Treatment courts are a sensible, proven, and cost-effective alternative to incarceration.98 Studies
have shown, for example, that drug courts reduce crime, make communities safer, save money,
ensure compliance, combat addiction, and reunite families.
Hawai‘i currently has treatment courts that deal with mental health issues, addiction, and the
problems faced by veterans. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has been working with the Judiciary
on the creation of a cultural treatment court that would focus on diverting individuals to programs
with a rich Native Hawaiian cultural component. The Task Force strongly supports the creation
of cultural courts in all judicial circuits.

D.

Expand In-Prison Cultural and Educational Programs
for Native Hawaiians

There is a limited amount of research on cultural programming for indigenous prisoners, and the
studies that do exist generally do not include control groups. That said, the data that is available
is generally positive and there is “emerging evidence that culture-focused programs are useful in
bringing about positive change in offenders.”99 For example, a proposed New Zealand model for
the rehabilitation of Aboriginal offenders focuses on identifying culturally appropriate ways of
promoting positive behavior through indigenous art, music, song, poetry, storytelling, drama,
dance, traditional rituals and ceremonies, meditation, prayer, and other spiritual practices, and the
use of native language.100
Hawai‘i has relatively little cultural programming in its prisons, and much of what does exist was
approved by the Department of Public Safety and CoreCivic only after protracted litigation, some
of which is still ongoing. Advocates for Native Hawaiians point to what they perceive as a general
resistance to cultural programs and contend that PSD exaggerates security concerns as a pretext to
prohibit or limit cultural programs. To improve and expand the quality of Native Hawaiian cultural
practices throughout the prison system, the Task Force recommends that the State create and fund
at least one full-time position to coordinate Native Hawaiian cultural, educational, and religious
programming in all facilities.101 Cultural practices should not be inhibited by exaggerated security
concerns.

E.

Make Culturally Relevant Reentry Programs
Available to Native Hawaiians

Make culturally relevant reentry programs available to Native Hawaiians through:

32

F.

1.

Moku (district) specific drop-in and/or residential wellness centers rooted in
Native Hawaiian values, practices, and principles.

2.

Utilizing case navigators for ongoing support.

3.

Drop-in and residential drug treatment programs.

4.

Places that allow Native Hawaiians to engage in land and ocean-based activities,
including growing their own food.

Implement the Recommendations of the 2012
Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ report on the disparate treatment of Native Hawaiians in the
criminal justice system was the catalyst for Act 170, Session Laws of Hawai‘i 2011, which created
the Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force (NHJTF). The mandate of the NHJTF was to formulate
policies and procedures to eliminate the disproportionate representation of Native Hawaiians in
Hawai‘i's criminal justice system by looking at new strategies and recommending legislation and
policies to reduce or prevent Native Hawaiians’ involvement with the criminal justice system.
The NHJTF issued its report in 2012, noting that the issue of overrepresentation of Native
Hawaiians in the criminal justice system had been studied many times before, and that studies in
1981, 1994, and 2010 “independently concluded that Native Hawaiians are overrepresented in the
criminal justice system.”102
The NHJTFʻs recommendations should be implemented as soon as practicable.

33

CHAPTER 5
THE LEGISLATURE SHOULD CREATE AN INDEPENDENT OVERSIGHT
AND IMPLEMENTATION COMMISSION
The door is locked against the prisoner and he goes to live in a hidden world. If you were to
enter that world you should be startled by what you see.
—Justice Anthony Kennedy

A.

Independent Oversight is Essential Because Jails and
Prisons are Closed Institutions and are Not Subject
to the Public Scrutiny That Applies to Most Other
Institutions

J

ails and prisons are closed institutions.103 They are separated from the rest of society by
massive walls, or fences topped with concertina wire. Entry is limited to those who have been
sent there by the courts, and visitors who have been vetted and approved by prison
administrators. Visitors have little contact with prisoners, and prisoners have little contact with
visitors or the outside world. Visiting hours are limited. Telephone calls are limited. Reading
material is limited. Mail is opened and read by prison officials. Cameras are not allowed. Society
knows little about what happens behind prison walls. In a speech to the American Bar Association
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said that prisoners live “in a hidden world”.104 Justice
William Brennan called it “a shadow world . . . that few of us can imagine.”105
The closed nature of jails and prisons is precisely what makes oversight so important. Michelle
Deitch, one of the nation’s leading experts in prison oversight, explains it this way:
Prisons and jails are closed institutions, both literally and symbolically, and they operate
far away from public view. In such closed environments, abuse is more likely to occur and
less likely to be discovered. Staff members and inmates with malicious intent often find
they can act with impunity, while those with more benign objectives may find their plans
thwarted by a lack of resources or an institutional culture that is unsupportive of their
efforts or content with the status quo. Insular environments tend to put prisoners at risk of
abuse, neglect, and poor conditions, and the lack of outside scrutiny provides no challenge
to this treatment.106

For most of the country’s history, courts took a “hands off” approach to prison conditions and
refused to hear the claims of prisoners, even when they were alleging serious violations of their
constitutional rights. That changed in 1974 with Wolff v. McDonnell, in which the United States

34

Supreme Court held that “a prisoner is not wholly stripped of constitutional protections when he
is imprisoned for crime. There is no iron curtain drawn between the Constitution and the prisons
of this country.”107 Wolff held sway for a time, but its influence gradually diminished as the United
States Supreme Court and Congress limited the role of the Judiciary in addressing prison
conditions. One of the biggest setbacks to judicial oversight was the Prison Litigation Reform Act
of 1995 (PLRA).108 The PLRA limits the use of injunctive relief in prison cases, requires prisoners
to exhaust administrative remedies and grievance appeals before filing suit, and limits the award
of attorneys’ fees against the government when prisoners prevail in litigation.
Despite the PLRA, federal courts still play an important role in protecting prisoners’ rights, but
experts caution that reliance on courts for oversight would be a serious mistake because judges can
only remedy problems once a constitutional or statutory violation is found; they are not in a
position to prevent problems in the first place.109

B.

The Basic Elements of Effective Oversight

The idea behind oversight is that if prisons are to function as decent, safe, and humane institutions,
they must be transparent in their operation and accountable for the protection of prisoners.110 The
goal of effective oversight is, therefore, to ensure transparency and accountability.
One of the landmark documents in prison oversight is the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s)
2006 resolution calling on federal, state, and local governments to establish “public entities,
independent of any correctional agency, to regularly monitor and publicly report on conditions in
prisons, jails, and other correctional and detention facilities . . . in their jurisdictions.”111 The
resolution sets out the “key requirements” for effective oversight:
1.

The monitoring entity must be adequately funded and staffed.

2.

The head of the monitoring entity must be appointed for a fixed term by an
elected official, confirmed by a legislative body, and be subject to removal
only for cause.

3.

Correctional and other governmental officials must be required to cooperate
fully and promptly with the monitoring entity.

4.

The monitoring entity must have broad and unhindered access to
correctional facilities, personnel, inmates, and records bearing on the
facility’s operations and conditions.

5.

Procedures must be in place to enable facility administrators, line staff,
inmates, and others to communicate confidentially with the monitoring
entity about the facility, and adequate safeguards must be established to
protect those who communicate with the monitoring entity from retaliation
or threats of retaliation for those comments.

35

6.

The reports disseminated by a monitoring entity should review and assess a
facility’s policies, processes, programs, and practices objectively and
accurately.

7.

The monitoring entity’s reports must be readily available to the public,
including accessibility through the Internet, and must also be disseminated
to the media, the Legislature, and the jurisdiction’s top elected officials.

8.

To guard against the risk that monitoring reports become meaningless
pieces of paper, largely ignored by correctional officials, the following steps
should be taken:
A.

Facility administrators should be required to respond publicly to the
reports and to develop and implement in a timely way action plans
to correct identified problems;

B.

Facility administrators should report to the public twice a year,
recounting the progress that has been made in implementing the
action plan;

C.

There must be an administrative entity with the authority to enforce
the above requirements so that problems identified in a monitoring
report are addressed and resolved with dispatch; and

D.

Until a problem highlighted in a monitoring entity's report is
resolved, the monitoring entity should continue to assess and report
on the problem and the progress made in solving it.

In 2010 the ABA House of Delegates approved the ABA Standards on the Treatment of
Prisoners.112 Standard 23-11.3 calls for an independent monitoring agency in each jurisdiction to
“anticipate and detect systemic problems affecting prisoners, monitor issues of continuing concern,
identify best practices within facilities, and make recommendations for improvement.”113 The
agencies should have authority to:
1.

Examine every part of every correctional facility;

2.

Visit every correctional facility without prior notice;

3.

Conduct confidential interviews with prisoners and staff; and

4.

Review all records, except that special procedures may be implemented for highly
confidential information.

Standard 23-11.3 also states that correctional agencies should be required to respond in a public
document to the findings of the monitoring agency, develop an action plan to address identified
problems, and periodically document compliance with recommendations or explain

36

noncompliance. The monitoring agency should continue to assess and report on previously
identified problems and the progress made in resolving them until the problems are resolved.
As the ABA standards indicate, there are many elements to effective oversight, including
inspection, regulation, investigation, reporting, and monitoring. The goal in all cases is
transparency and accountability, both of which are important in all governmental endeavors, but
particularly important, even critical, where an all-powerful institution has total control over the
lives and well-being of citizens.114 And while effective oversight is important for all prisoners, its
importance is even greater when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable individuals in the
prison system: those in administrative segregation, those who are subject to sexual assault, those
with physical and mental disabilities, elderly prisoners, and prisoners with special medical
needs.115

C.

The Need for Independent Oversight in Hawai‘i

In Hawai‘i, the Office of the Ombudsman is authorized to investigate inmate complaints and
recommend steps to resolve them. In FY 2015-2016, the Ombudsman received 2,706 complaints,
of which 1,706, or 63%, were against the Department of Public Safety.116 The Ombudsman
declined 933 of the complaints, 96 were discontinued, 69 were assisted, 73 were substantiated, 457
were not substantiated, and 78 were pending at the end of the report period.117
Despite its many good works, the Office of the Ombudsman is not a substitute for an independent
correctional oversight commission. It is not specifically focused on correctional matters, it
generally responds to complaints rather than exercising oversight and initiating investigations, and
it is required to “maintain secrecy in respect to all matters and the identities of the complainants
or witnesses” coming before it.118
While independent oversight is a correctional “best practice” and as such should be an integral part
of any correctional system, there have been public reports in the past two years that highlight and
support our recommendation for strong, independent oversight, including the following:
• September 2017. Three correctional officers were attacked by OCCC inmates who were
angry and frustrated over long periods of lockdown due to staffing shortages. A veteran
OCCC sergeant who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation told Hawaii News
Now “I’ve been involved now with the department for a while and I feel like it's really
gone down and the safety is being more and more jeopardized.” The article also noted that
OCCC, which was designed for 629 inmates, housed upward of 1,100 inmates.119
• January 2017. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (ACLU) filed a 28-page
complaint with the United States Department of Justice alleging unconstitutional
conditions at Hawai‘i’s prisons. The complaint documented unsafe and unsanitary living
conditions, overcrowding, “woefully inadequate” medical and psychiatric care,
understaffing, and other clearly unconstitutional conditions.120

37

• February 2017. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that for two years in a row,
guards at Hawai‘i correctional facilities committed more sexual assaults on inmates than
inmates committed on each other.121
• March 2017. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that ten women at WCCC filed a
federal lawsuit alleging that they were sexually assaulted by both male and female guards.
According to the lawsuit, the inmates were given food, makeup, crystal methamphetamine
and special privileges for complying with sexual demands.122
• July 2017. On July 16, 2017, a jury on Maui found a guard at the Maui Community
Correctional Center guilty of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree
sexual assault on an inmate. According to the victim, the guard threatened to take her work
furlough privileges away from her if she did not agree to have sex with him.123
• June 2017 to January 2018. In the eight-month period from June 2017 to January 2018,
there were five suicides at Hawai‘i correctional facilities.124

D.

Hawai‘i Should Establish an Implementation
Commission and Fund a Transitional Coordinator
Position to Ensure That Prison Reform Takes Place in
an Orderly, Efficient, and Effective Manner

The need for a strong implementation component to the oversight commission is clearly evident
from the way the Department of Public Safety (PSD) responded to Act 149, Session Laws of
Hawai‘i 2014. Act 149 required PSD to establish “within the department” a reentry pilot project
for non-violent, low-risk drug offenders. The program was to have up to 100 participants and its
effectiveness was to be evaluated with respect to participants’ arrest records, substance abuse
problems, employment status, compliance with terms and conditions of release, housing status,
and the availability of positive support groups. The program was to follow “evidence-based
principles,” and data was to be collected by service providers and submitted to PSD every six
months for evaluation purposes. PSD was required to submit an annual report of its findings and
recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days
prior to the convening of the Regular Sessions of 2015 and 2016.
PSD’s report to the 2015 Legislature had no findings and no recommendations. It simply said:
“PSD is unable to provide findings and recommendations as the appropriated funds have not been
released by the Department of Budget and Finance.”125
The report to the 2016 Legislature was not much better. It said:
Since the last report to the Legislature, PSD has established the Reentry Office within the
Corrections Division, and the recruitment of five civil service staff is currently underway.
These include three program specialists, one supervisor, and one support position.

38

PSD has already implemented certain functions envisioned by Act 149 by assigning tasks
to existing staff, for example, the liaison with the Crime Victims Compensation
Commission and the Interagency Council on Intermediate Sanctions. The Department is
firmly committed to developing, coordinating, and monitoring the necessary functions to
carry out the purposes of the Act.126

Once again, there were no findings, no data, and no recommendations for proposed legislation.
There was no report to the 2017 Legislature.
Reentry is a complex and often difficult transition for offenders, their families, and the community.
It is well known that former offenders are “likely to struggle with substance abuse, lack of adequate
education and job skills, limited housing options, and mental health issues.”127 Congress
recognized this by passing the Second Chance Act of 2007, which provides federal grants for
programs that support research and evaluation of reentry programs.128
The Hawai‘i Legislature is to be commended for passing Act 149 and seeking evidence-based
programs to assist offenders and reduce recidivism. Unfortunately, PSD and DAGS did not follow
through on the Legislature’s good intentions, and the community has suffered by not having data
on which to base new programs or improve existing ones. PSD’s response to Act 149 highlights
why the State needs an independent commission to ensure that any prison reform measures that
the Task Force recommends, and the Legislature enacts, are faithfully and competently executed.
This is particularly important because the HCR 85 Task Force is recommending a fundamental
shift in the culture of the Hawai‘i correctional system that will require exceptionally strong
leadership and extensive retraining of correctional staff. To ensure that the transition to a
rehabilitative system occurs in an orderly, timely, effective, and sustainable manner, the oversight
commission and transitional coordinator should monitor and oversee implementation of the new
correctional model and report to the Legislature on the progress that is being made by the
Department of Public Safety so that we do not have a repeat of the Act 149 situation.

39

CHAPTER 6
EVIDENCE BASED PROGRAMS ARE ESSENTIAL TO PREPARE PRISONERS
FOR REENTRY INTO THE COMMUNITY
A.

Introduction

Best practices in correctional programming require that: (1) programs must target the right people
who are identified through assessment; (2) programs be evidence-based; and (3) programs be
implemented with quality and fidelity to the successful model.129 Additionally, programs must
address multiple needs simultaneously, including both behavioral health needs and criminogenic
needs. Studies have shown that programs that address one to two criminogenic needs reduce
recidivism by 14% to 19%, while programs that address three or more criminogenic needs result
in a 22% to 51% reduction in recidivism.130

B.

Educational Programs

The Task Force’s Education subcommittee focused on supporting and expanding the role of
educational programming in all correctional facilities, and greatly expanding the interface between
the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Department of Public Safety.
A 2014 Rand Report found that while more than 700,000 incarcerated individuals leave federal
and state prisons each year, 40% will have committed new crimes or violated the terms of their
release and be reincarcerated within three years of release.131 Although a number of factors affect
the ability of ex-offenders to successfully reintegrate into communities, a key factor is that many
do not have the knowledge, training, and skills to support successful reentry.132
In Hawai‘i, for example, prisoners typically read at the 4th through 6th grade level.133 Research
at the national level shows that just 16.5% of state prisoners have a high school diploma, compared
with 26% of the general population, and only 14.4% have some postsecondary education,
compared with 51% of the general adult population.134
The low level of educational attainment, coupled with a lack of vocational skills, represents a
significant challenge for ex-offenders returning to their communities and impedes their ability to
find employment.
The Rand study found that although there is a general consensus that education is an important
component of rehabilitation, the question remains: “How effective is it in helping to reduce

40

recidivism and improve post release employment outcomes?” To answer this question, the
researchers conducted a meta-analysis and systematic review to measure the effectiveness of
correctional education for incarcerated adults and juveniles and a survey of states’ correctional
education directors to understand concerns and emerging trends.
The results of the meta-analysis showed that correctional education for incarcerated adults reduces
the risk of post-release reincarceration by 13 percentage points and does so cost- effectively, with
a savings of five dollars on reincarceration costs for every dollar spent on correctional education.135
Researchers also found that correctional education may increase post-release employment, another
key to successful reentry. Overall, the study showed that “the direct costs of reincarceration were
far greater than the direct costs of providing correctional education.”136
In addition to working to strengthen in-facility educational programming, the Task Force supports
the University of Hawai‘i’s efforts to bring best practices to all aspects of public safety in Hawai‘i.
In particular, the Task Force supports the work of the Research and Evaluation in Public Safety
(REPS) project within the Social Science Research Institute. The REPS project provides handson evaluation services and is also assisting the Department of Public Safety with training efforts,
both within the facilities and in programs that assist prisoner re-entry.
Lastly, the Task Force supports the expansion of college-level offerings at all correctional
facilities, building on the current efforts that the community colleges have launched.

C.

Effective Substance Abuse Treatment

The corrections professionals on the Task Force estimate that at least 90% of Hawai‘i’s prisoners
have addiction problems. Unless effective substance abuse treatment programs are identified and
implemented, most of those prisoners will continuously cycle through the criminal justice system,
meaning that the prison population and recidivism rate will never be reduced, and correctional
costs will never be brought under control.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (a part of the National Institutes of Health) lists ten reasons
why addiction is difficult to treat: (1) it is a complex disease that affects brain function as well as
behavior; (2) no single treatment is appropriate for everyone; (3) to be effective, treatment needs
to be readily available; (4) remaining in a treatment program for an adequate amount of time is
critical; (5) medications are an important element of treatment, especially when combined with
counseling and other behavioral therapies; (6) treatment plans and services must be assessed
continuously and modified as necessary to ensure that they meet the patient's changing needs; (7)
many drug-addicted individuals have other mental disorders; (8) treatment needs to be voluntary
to be effective; (9) drug use must be continuously monitored during treatment; and (10) medically
assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and, by itself, does little to
change long-term drug abuse.137
To this list might be added the fact that the goal of treatment is not just to stop drug use, but also
to return the patient to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and community.
Furthermore, we know that addiction is a chronic disease, and like other chronic diseases, relapsing

41

is likely, with symptom recurrence rates similar to those for other well-characterized chronic
medical illnesses—such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.138 Relapse does not mean that
treatment failed, but that it needs to be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed.

D.

Some Cost Considerations

HCR 85 directs the Task Force to study best practices and their costs. The Task Force did not
have the funds or expertise required to do an accurate and reliable cost-benefit analysis of its
recommendations, but a few observations on costs are in order.
The state correctional budget of roughly $226 million does not reflect all of the direct costs of
imprisonment in Hawai‘i. For example, funds to pay settlements and judgments of prison lawsuits,
sometimes amounting to millions of dollars, are paid from state general funds and not from the
corrections budget. This year, part of the planning for a new jail was done by employees on the
payroll of the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) and the Department of
Budget and Finance, not the Department of Public Safety. Also, because the state Employees’
Retirement System is not fully funded, the personnel budget of the Department of Public Safety
does not reflect all of the costs that will ultimately have to be paid for operating the prison system.
A joint study of 40 states by the Pew Center on the States and the Vera Institute of Justice found
that the actual direct cost of incarceration was 13.9% higher than was reflected in state corrections
budgets.139 Direct costs, however, are only part of the story. Incarceration also involves significant
indirect costs to individuals, families, and communities. A 2010 study by Dr. Bruce Western of
the Harvard Kennedy School and Dr. Beck Pettit of the University of Washington found that:
•

Past incarceration reduced annual earnings by 40%;

•

By age 48, the typical former inmate will have earned $179,000 less than if he had
never been incarcerated;

•

Children with fathers who have been incarcerated are significantly more likely than
other children to be expelled or suspended from school (23% compared with 4%);

•

Family income averaged over the years a father was incarcerated is 22% lower than
the year before the father was incarcerated; and

•

The indirect costs of incarceration reverberate across generations because parental
income is a strong indicator of a child's future economic mobility.140

A 2016 economic analysis by the White House reported other negative economic effects from
incarceration, such as:
•

If a father is incarcerated, the probability that his family will fall into poverty
increases by 40%;

42

•

Because incarceration secludes individuals from their families and communities, it
decreases the likelihood of marriage and increases the likelihood of divorce; and

•

Parental incarceration is a strong risk factor for a number of adverse outcomes for
children, including antisocial and violent behavior, mental health problems, failure
to graduate from school, and unemployment.141

Fixing Hawai‘i’s correctional system will cost money, but not fixing it will cost a lot more.

43

CHAPTER 7
THE LEGISLATURE SHOULD CREATE AN ACADEMY TO TRAIN
CORRECTIONAL WORKERS AT ALL LEVELS
A.

Training Correctional Staff

H

awai‘i does not provide standardized education and training for correctional workers. An
untrained or poorly trained staff contributes to poor outcomes, an unsafe workplace, poor
morale, and an inefficient workforce. The Task Force recommends that the State establish
a Corrections Academy to ensure that the quality and type of education and training needed by
correctional personnel is delivered in a standardized and effective manner.
The Corrections Academy should be structured to provide training to new correctional employees
and ongoing training and education to the staff of all agencies and departments involved in
correctional work. The training should focus on the principles of rehabilitation, the role of the
correctional professional in promoting rehabilitation, conflict resolution, counseling, the use of
risk assessment instruments, cognitive behavior intervention, motivational interviewing
interventions, collaborative casework, the implementation of effective, evidence-based programs
for offenders, and other relevant subjects.
Many states in the Western Region already have training offices, including Arizona, Colorado,
Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.
Norway’s successful correctional system is due in part to its Correctional Service Academy that
educates new correctional workers and provides continuing education to meet the Correctional
Service's ongoing needs. The Academy also conducts research that contributes to professional
development and education, good practice, and good decision making in the Correctional Service.
The Norwegian Academy typically receives around 1,200 applications per year and admits about
200 students (16% of applicants) into its intensive, two-year program. Academy students receive
full pay while attending the Academy, and graduation from the Academy is a prerequisite for
working in the Norwegian Correctional Service.
Hawai‘i may not be able to create a Norwegian-style academy, but it should take the first steps in
that direction by creating an academy committed to improving the knowledge and skills of those
who work in the correctional system.

44

B.

Research and Evaluation

The Task Force also recommends that the Corrections Academy create and maintain a performance
management system and assist in the transition to a rehabilitative correctional system.
Models for the Corrections Academy can be found in Washington State, which created an Institute
for Public Policy,142 and Pennsylvania, which developed a policy-driven Commission on Crime
and Delinquency.143 The support and implementation side of the Corrections Academy would,
among other things:
•

Develop data collection systems and collect relevant data;

•

Conduct program evaluations;

•

Measure program and policy outcomes;

•

Recommend evidence-based programs and policies;

•

Conduct cost-benefit analysis;

•

Enhance accountability and transparency;

•

Report on progress to the Legislature, funding sources, and community
stakeholders;

•

Provide guidance on best practices and promising practices;

•

Develop staff manuals and training curricula;

•

Report on studies, findings, and reports that appear in the correctional literature;

•

Evaluate and improve risk assessment and classification instruments; and

•

Assist in the transition from a punitive to a rehabilitative system.

The Task Force believes that developing details of the academy and its cost requires specialized
skill beyond those we possess, and therefore we recommend the creation of a working group to do
detailed planning for the academy and draft proposed legislation for its creation, staffing and
funding. The working group should include, at a minimum: PSD, Adult Probation, the Hawai‘i
Paroling Authority, criminal court judges, the University of Hawai‘i Research and Evaluation in
Public Safety (REPS), and community organizations that advocate for prisoners and that provide
services to those involved in the correctional system.

45

C.

Encourage the University of Hawai‘i to Offer
Accredited Degrees in Criminal Justice

The University of Hawai‘i does not offer a degree in criminal justice. Offering such a degree
would produce highly educated individuals to staff and administer Hawai‘i’s correctional system,
and the faculty would constitute an important reservoir of expertise for consultation and research
on criminal justice matters.
An initiative to create an accredited BA and MA program in criminology and criminal justice at
the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is currently underway. A steering committee chaired by Task
Force Member Meda Chesney-Lind is leading this effort, and an “authorization to plan” has been
submitted to the College of Social Sciences. The Task Force hopes that the Legislature and the
public will support this important effort that will clearly benefit both the University and Hawai‘i’s
criminal justice system.

46

CHAPTER 8
HAWAI‘I SHOULD IMPROVE THE REENTRY PROCESS
AND SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF
NEW TRANSITIONAL HOUSING

R

eturning to the community after spending time in jail or prison is a difficult transition for
most offenders, as well as for their families and communities. Drug and alcohol addiction,
job and housing instability, mental illness, lack of money, and health problems are part of
the day-to-day realities for a significant share of this population.144 The challenges, as one group
of experts has said, are “large in scale, complex in task.”145
In 2009, the Hawai‘i State Legislature established a Reentry Commission within the Department
of Public Safety to monitor and review reentry programs, including facility educational and
treatment programs, rehabilitative services, work furlough, and the Hawai‘i Paroling Authority’s
oversight of parolees.146 The Commission was also tasked with ensuring that the offender reentry
program created by Chapter 352, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, is implemented as soon as practicable
to ensure that inmate release is not delayed due to lack of access to programs and services. The
Reentry Commission was due to sunset on December 1, 2015, but the Legislature extended its
expiration date to December 1, 2019.147
In 2018, the Reentry Commission released its Strategic Plan 2017-2020 which establishes a
general framework for improving reentry and a series of recommendations. The strategic plan
represents progress in improving the reentry process. The HCR 85 Task Force recommends the
following additional steps be taken to strengthen Hawai‘i’s reentry process:
1.

Adopt the following principles developed for the Bureau of Prisons by President
Barack Obama’s Justice Department:148
Principle I:

Planning for reentry should begin at the time of admission.
Every inmate should be provided with an individualized
reentry plan tailored to his or her risk of recidivism and
programmatic needs. Plans should be updated and revised
continuously until the time of release.

Principle II:

While incarcerated, each inmate should be provided
education, employment training, life skills, substance abuse
treatment, mental health treatment, and other programs that
target their criminogenic needs and maximize their
likelihood of success upon release.
47

i.

The curricula for these programs should be grounded
in evidence that the program reduces recidivism.

ii.

There should be standardization of evidence-based
programming across facilities so that an inmate can
complete programs even if transferred from facility
to facility.

iii.

To remedy gaps in education and employment skills,
prisons must ensure their education programs will
expand the quality, scope, and delivery of the
agency’s academic and job training curricula,
particularly for those with literacy and special
learning needs.

Principle III: While incarcerated, each inmate should be provided the
resources and opportunity to build and maintain family
relationships, strengthening the support system available to
them upon release.
i.

Create comfortable, friendly space for contact visits
with family. Use video services only when family
members are unable to visit in person.

ii.

Expand the use of furloughs to visit family, children,
and significant others.

iii.

Focus on developing best practices in helping
children of incarcerated parents.

Principle IV: During the transition back to the community, halfway houses
and supervised release programs should ensure
individualized continuity of care

Principle V:

i.

Contract with non-profit corporations to increase the
number of halfway houses.

ii.

Make the halfway houses therapeutic centers where
gains made in prison can be sustained and
strengthened.

Before leaving prison, every inmate should be provided
comprehensive reentry-related information and access to
resources necessary to succeed in the community.

48

2.

PSD should create a unit dedicated to finding appropriate housing for difficult-toplace inmates such as those who are elderly, disabled, mentally ill, or have chronic
illnesses. This unit should work with state and federal agencies to establish
protocols that will quickly and efficiently process applications for health insurance
and other benefits, and quickly respond to requests for medical records and other
information from hospitals, care homes, and hospice. When a bed in a care home
become available, PSD and the Paroling Authority must be able to quickly release
the prisoner because most facilities cannot afford to keep a bed open for more than
a day or two.

3.

The State should designate Leahi Hospital as the default placement for
compassionate release prisoners whose condition requires a Skilled Nursing
Facility (SNF) or an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF).

4.

At the time of release, all prisoners should have:
A.

A decent place to live;

B.

A state identification card, a social security card, and a birth
certificate;

C.

Health insurance and, if necessary, public assistance benefits;

D.

Employment if the individual is employable;

E.

Ongoing addiction and/or mental health treatment; and

F.

Access to wellness centers rooted in Native Hawaiian values.

5.

Review statutes that erect barriers to reentry and determine whether they should be
continued, amended, or terminated.

6.

Expand and improve transitional housing capacity through partnerships with nonprofit corporations.

7.

Streamline the State’s compassionate release procedures and make eligibility for
compassionate release the same for both PSD and the Hawai‘i Paroling Authority
(which decides whether an individual should be granted compassionate release).
The Task Force supports PSD’s current eligibility criteria, which are:

49

A.

The inmate has a terminal illness with a predictably poor prognosis;

B.

The inmate has a debilitating and irreversible mental or physical
condition that impairs the inmate’s functional ability to the extent
that they would be more appropriately managed in a community
setting;

C.

The inmate is too ill or cognitively impaired to participate in
rehabilitation and/or to be aware of punishment; and

D.

The inmate has a disease or condition that requires a complexity of
treatment or a level of care that PSD is unable to provide on a longterm basis.

50

CHAPTER 9
HAWAI‘I SHOULD EXPAND ITS TREATMENT COURTS
TO ACCOMMODATE MORE OFFENDERS

O

ne of the first questions the Task Force asked was: “Do we have the right people in
prison?” The answer was “probably not.” As previously noted, 74% of Hawai‘i’s
prisoners are incarcerated for relatively low-level offenses (class C felonies and below),
including non-violent and drug offenses. Hawai‘i could significantly reduce its prison population
by diverting low-level offenders to treatment programs. This is already being accomplished
through three treatment courts—drug court, mental health court, and veterans court—but these
courts have long waiting lists. To accommodate all of those who are eligible to participate in
treatment courts, the drug court would need to be expanded from 200 to 500 participants, the
mental health court from 40 to 80 participants, and the veterans court from 20 to 40 participants.
The Task Force believes these expansions make sense because treatment courts are a sensible and
proven alternative to incarceration. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals, for
example, reports that drug courts return up to $27 dollars for every $1 invested. They also improve
financial stability, promote family reunification, and increase the rate of mothers with substance
abuse disorders delivering fully drug-free babies.149
Mental health courts are newer than drug courts and have also been shown to be effective. A report
prepared by the Council of State Governments Justice Center concluded that mental health courts
play a significant role in responding to the disproportionate number of people with mental illness
in the criminal justice system and, like drug courts after which they are modeled, move beyond the
traditional focus of case processing to address the root causes of the behavior that brings mentally
ill people before the court: “They work to improve outcomes for all parties, including individuals
charged with crimes, victims, and communities.”150
Expanding the treatment courts would not only improve correctional outcomes, it would save
money in two ways: (1) by diverting several hundred individuals from jail and thereby allowing
the State to build and maintain a significantly smaller and less expensive jail; and (2) communitybased treatment costs a lot less than incarceration.

51

Chapter 10
HAWAI‘I SHOULD IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR WOMEN PRISONERS
AND ADOPT GENDER-RESPONSIVE POLICIES,
PROGRAMS AND PRACTICES
What is the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had
everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.
—Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

A.

Introduction151

W

omen make up about 12% of Hawai‘i’s combined jail/prison population (a total of 629
women as of June 30, 2018).152 Unlike their male counterparts, female offenders tend
to have a history of physical and/or sexual abuse, and they are the primary caretakers
of young children at the time of arrest. Their involvement in criminal activity is often motivated
by poverty and/or substance abuse, and they are less likely than men to have been convicted of a
violent crime.153
Researchers have identified the following characteristics of women involved in the United States
criminal justice system:

•

Disproportionately women of color;

•

In their early-to-mid-thirties;

•

Most likely to have been convicted of a drug or drug-related offense;

•

Fragmented family histories, with other family members also involved with
the criminal justice system;

•

Survivors of physical and/or sexual abuse as children and adults;

•

Significant substance abuse problems;

•

Multiple physical and mental health problems;

52

•

Unmarried mothers of minor children; and

•

High school degree/GED, but limited vocational training and sporadic work
histories.154

In Hawai‘i, incarcerated women tend to be Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, undereducated,
and non-violent. Over 75% are mothers with children and they are, on the whole, resilient,
resourceful, and motivated to succeed and return to their children and families.
There is now substantial evidence pointing to the need for policy makers and correctional officials
to recognize the behavioral and social differences between female and male offenders and adopt
gender-responsive policies, programs, and practices.

B.

Trauma-Informed Facility and Staff

Trauma is generally defined as an external threat that overwhelms a person’s coping resources.
What constitutes a traumatic event is, of course, unique to each person, but in nearly every case it
destroys trust and undermines a person’s core sense of safety. The Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identifies six key principles of a trauma-informed
approach to rehabilitation:155

•
•
•

Safety
Trustworthiness and transparency
Peer Support

•
•
•

Collaboration and mutuality
Empowerment, voice, and choice
Culture, historical, and gender issues

Due to the high prevalence of trauma among incarcerated women, correctional staff need to be
trained in and practice a high level of trauma-informed care. An environment that supports
posttraumatic growth provides important opportunities for positive change.

C.

Healthy Relationships

Research on justice-involved women in Hawai‘i demonstrates that women feel “overwhelmed” by
the roles they play within their families, their drug networks, the criminal justice system, and
intimate partnerships.156 Additionally, justice-involved women report that their introduction to
drug use or criminal activity came via family members or intimate partners. Marriage and
relationships can push women towards criminalized behaviors157 rather than serve as a desistance
factor, as seen with men.158
Support services for justice-involved women should focus on healthy relationships.
Administrators and staff should model healthy relationship skills. Healthy relationships skill
building should not focus solely on women’s roles in intimate relationships, but also their
relationship to self, family, and community. Healthy family relationships should be nurtured and

53

supported throughout women’s incarceration, with special attention to relationships to their
children and their children’s caretakers. Family reunification should occur as frequently as
possible. In-person visits are the best forms of communication.159 Other states have found
nurseries in women’s prisons to be a highly successful modality for reducing recidivism for
mothers, promoting secure attachments and long-term positive outcomes for their children, and
saving the State money.160 Hawai‘i should consider adopting a similar program. Numerous
research studies show the negative impact of parental incarceration, from Social Determinants of
Health161 to the Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey.162 For future generations in Hawai‘i,
more is needed to support families impacted by incarceration.

D.

Support Services

In addition to focusing on healthy relationships, programs for justice-involved women should be
holistic and support the entire woman. Programs should address the areas that served as pathways
to incarceration while offering opportunities for success in the community. A survey of justiceinvolved women identified the following areas as their primary and basic needs:163

•
•
•
•
•

•
•
•
•

Drug treatment
Employment
Financial aid
Money management/budgeting

Education/vocational skills
Support groups/women's issues
Housing
Legal help

Cultural support

The needs identified above are similar to what research suggests are most critical for successful
reentry.164 However, research also indicates that the succession of program supports matters.
Ideally, programs relating to the person, their history, trauma, and education would take place
before beginning life skills. Additionally, there should be a continuum of services offered postincarceration. Anecdotally, women have reported knowing they need assistance, but not knowing
where to go for support; this ultimately resulted in their return to behaviors that led to their criminal
involvement.

E.

Community-Based Programs and Facilities

The current model of prisons in Hawai‘i reinforces institutionalized thinking and thought patterns
and re-traumatizes women. Women should be placed in community-based programs as soon as
possible after incarceration. Being part of a community and learning to navigate that community
reinforces the reality that there is something beyond incarceration. It allows women to practice
new skills in a supportive environment, navigate the challenges of daily life and learn that they
can rely on themselves instead of engaging in unhealthy relationships, drugs, and alcohol. The
facility should resemble a home setting rather than an institution, like many of the European
correctional facilities, and should be safe, orderly, and clean.

54

F.

YWCA Fernhurst Model Ka Hale Ho‘āla Hou No
Nā Wāhine

A local program that embodies much of what is described above and could serve as a model for
other programs, is the YWCA Fernhurst Ka Hale Ho‘āla Hou No Nā Wāhine (the home of
reawakening for women; formally with TJ Mahoney & Associates). The community-based
furlough program works with women who are between a year and 6 months of being released on
parole or completion of their sentence.
Women spend approximately 6 months at the program. The program serves up to 26 women at a
time. Although the stay is relatively short (6 months compared to years of incarceration), it works
to build womens’ capacities so that they are the best versions of themselves prior to parole. The
setting is trauma-informed, gender responsive, and culturally coherent. Additionally, the furlough
program is connected to several career and personal development programs offered at YWCA
O‘ahu. The Fernhurst program also offers Homebase; a supportive transitional housing
environment for women on parole or for those who have completed their sentence. Homebase is
often their only available safe, affordable housing option. Both Fernhurst programs focus on
compassionate accountability, enabling women to take ownership of their actions and be
accountable, while supporting their belief in themselves and their ability to do better. The longterm goals of the program are:
•

Positive coping skills

•

Access to positive social networks

•

Employability skills

•

Financial independence

•

Access to permanent affordable housing

The Fernhurst program is rooted in over twenty-five years of experience working with justiceinvolved women. The small size of the program allows the model to be flexible and adaptive as
the needs of the women served change. Community partnerships are critical to the program’s
success and involve health care, mentoring, apprenticeships, and access to positive social
networks.
At YWCA Fernhurst, trauma-informed practices look like compassionate accountability and
building trusting relationships. It is highly structured with clearly defined expectations of staff
and program participants. The Resident Manual (provided to residents on Day 1) outlines the
program structure and provides consistency and stability. Through structure, the women practice
the skills necessary for successful community reintegration, reinforcing skills such as patience,
perseverance, delayed gratification, and tolerating uncertainty. Fernhurst staff see themselves as
supportive partners in the women’s journey. A key piece of trauma-informed practice for residents
and staff alike is a clear understanding that change is a process and not an event.
55

As expected, the majority of women in the furlough program are mothers. Fernhurst offers family
reunification activities often and works to incorporate the caregivers of children as well. One of
the simplest and most impactful experiences we can give the children is the opportunity to create
new and happy memories in a healthy, supportive environment. YWCA Fernhurst continues to
evaluate its support services and service delivery methods. The community-based model allows
women to transition back into the community gradually, rather than the abrupt and cliff-like effect
created by current incarceration and parole policies. The key elements of the program, being
trauma-informed, strengths-based, gender responsive and culturally coherent are the basis for the
program’s success and should be adopted by the State.

56

CHAPTER 11
HAWAI‘I SHOULD DEVELOP A PLAN TO BRING ALL OF ITS MAINLAND
PRISONERS BACK TO HAWAI‘I AND TO STOP USING PRIVATE PRISONS

H

awai‘i began using private prisons in 1995 in response to overcrowded conditions at its
prisons on O‘ahu and the neighbor islands.165 The first prisoners were sent to private
prisons in Texas, but within a short time, Hawai‘i was using private prisons in Kentucky
and Arizona.166 By October 2005, Hawai‘i had a higher percentage of its prisoners in out-of-state
facilities than any other state.167 Although Hawai‘i no longer leads the nation in the use of private
prisons, it still has about one quarter of its prisoners housed at the Saguaro Correctional Center in
Eloy, Arizona operated by CoreCivic, a publicly traded corporation.168 As of year-end 2016,
Hawai‘i was one of only five states to house at least 20% of its prisoners in private prisons.169
PSD reports that the cost of housing an inmate on the mainland is $82.61 per day, compared to
$182 per day in Hawai‘i.170 This cost difference has led some to support the continuing use of
private prisons. Others, however, contend that “the costs of private imprisonment are more than
merely financial, because relying on mainland prisons severs an inmate’s family ties, undermines
rehabilitation, and decreases the odds of successful employment after release.”171 And some
experts, such as Ted Sakai, who was Director of the Department of Public Safety from 1998 to
2002, believes that the financial savings may be illusory because keeping prison jobs in the State
would have a “multiplier effect” on the local economy.172
A comparison of recidivism rates for parolees who had been incarcerated on the mainland and
parolees incarcerated in Hawai‘i, found, among other things, that:
•

A little more than half of parolees in both cohorts failed on parole within three
years;

•

The average time to recidivism in both cohorts was about 15 months; and

•

The recidivism rate for the mainland cohort (53%) was slightly lower than the
recidivism rate from the Hawai‘i cohort (56%), but the difference was not
statistically significant.173

In 2012, prisoners and former prisoners told the Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force that out-ofstate prisons provided more consistent programs and less crowded living conditions than Hawai‘i
prisons. Prisoners also reported that the guards at mainland prisons treated them with greater
respect than the guards in Hawai‘i, but that being transferred to a mainland prison was a “drastic
dislocation from their home, culture, family, job prospects, and community support.”174
57

One of the people who testified before the NHJTF was
Delbert Wakinekona. In 1976, Mr. Wakinekona was
transferred from the Hawai‘i State Prison (now
OCCC) to Folsom Prison in California under an
interstate compact because he was allegedly dangerous
and a security risk. Mr. Wakinekona challenged the
transfer in federal court as a violation of his
constitutional rights. His case, Olim v. Wakinekona,175
was heard by the United States Supreme Court in
1983. In a 6 to 3 decision, the court held that
transferring a prisoner from one state to another, even
to one thousands of miles away from the prisoner’s
home, did not violate the constitution and that such
transfers were not reviewable by federal courts.

Delbert Wakinekona
Photography by Per Liljas, used with permission.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote that transferring a prisoner to a location
far from the prisoner's home and family amounts to double punishment:
There can be little doubt that the transfer of Wakinekona from a Hawaii prison to a prison
in California represents a substantial qualitative change in the conditions of his
confinement. In addition to being incarcerated, which is the ordinary consequence of a
criminal conviction and sentence, Wakinekona has in effect been banished from his home,
a punishment historically considered to be “among the severest.” For an indeterminate
period of time, possibly the rest of his life, nearly 2,500 miles of ocean will separate him
from his family and friends. As a practical matter, Wakinekona may be entirely cut off
from his only contacts with the outside world, just as if he had been imprisoned in an
institution which prohibited visits by outsiders. Surely the isolation imposed on him by
the transfer is far more drastic than that which normally accompanies imprisonment.176

The NHJTF found the words of Justice Marshall “particularly relevant”177 and recommended that
returning prisoners to Hawai‘i should be a top priority, and that they should be returned “as soon
as practicable, consistent with public safety.”178 It also recommended that “[o]nce the inmates are
returned from private, out of state facilities, the State should consider passing legislation
prohibiting future use of private for-profit correctional facilities.”179
Private prisons have been controversial ever since they were introduced almost 40 years ago. The
Task Force is aware of the arguments for and against them. We believe, as did the NHJTF and
Governor Neil Abercrombie, that private prisons do not serve the best interest of Hawai‘i. We
recommend the creation of a working group of public and private stakeholders to develop a plan
to bring back all Hawai‘i prisoners as soon as practicable consistent with public safety, and that
the Legislature prohibit the future use of private, for-profit correctional facilities.

58

CHAPTER 12
THE STATE SHOULD SUPPORT FEDERAL JUSTICE REFORM LEGISLATION
THAT WOULD BENEFIT HAWAI‘I

U

nited States Senator Brian Schatz of Hawai‘i has sponsored or is supporting federal
legislation to improve Hawai‘i’s correctional system. The State should support this
legislation and work with Senator Schatz to further develop ideas that would benefit
Hawai‘i.

A.

Expanding Prison Education Opportunities

Since 1994, prisoners have not had access to federal Pell Grants to help pay for post-secondary
education, and as a result, the number of education programs in prisons has fallen from over 350
in 1982 to only 12 by 2005.180 The loss of post-secondary education programs for prisoners is
short-sighted because these programs reduce costs and improve public safety more effectively and
efficiently than incarceration. Studies have shown that each dollar spent on education programs
reduces incarceration costs by $4 to $5 during the first 3 years after an individual is released.181
And an investment of $1 million in prison educational programs prevents about 600 crimes, while
the same money invested in incarceration only prevents about 350 crimes.182
On February 3, 2018, Senator Schatz introduced the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL)
Act183 that would once again make prisoners eligible for Pell Grants to fund higher education. He
is also supporting the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program, an initiative started under the Obama
Administration to select colleges and universities that partnered with state and federal prisons to
provide post-secondary prison education. Senator Schatz is working to ensure that the pilot
program receives adequate funding and that the United States Department of Education continues
to implement the program, including assistance addressing the specific financial aid needs of
incarcerated students.184
On October 11, 2018, Senator Schatz introduced the Promoting Reentry through Education in
Prisons (PREP) Act185 that would reform the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ educational programs by
creating a dedicated Office of Federal Correctional Education. The bill would build on reforms
started by the Obama Administration in its Roadmap to Reentry initiative.186
Additionally, Senator Schatz has directed the Government Accountability Office, the National
Institute of Corrections, and the United States Department of Education to conduct an evaluation
of prison education programs, including the Second Chance Pell Pilot, to ensure that there will be
robust research and data on the effectiveness of these programs.
59

B.

Ending Collateral Consequences for Justice-Involved
Individuals

As we noted in the reentry section of this report (Chapter 8), individuals with criminal or juvenile
justice involvement often experience barriers to educational opportunities, decreased earnings,
increased unemployment, and increased poverty. To address this problem, Senator Schatz has
asked the “Big Six” higher education associations and The Common Application to urge their
members to remove criminal history questions from their admissions processes. The Association
of American Colleges and Universities and the American Association of Community Colleges
both answered Senator Schatz’s request and urged their members to remove those questions. The
Common Application announced that it would remove its criminal history question starting on its
2019-20 application.
To assist colleges and universities in removing criminal history questions, Senator Schatz
introduced the Beyond the Box for Higher Education Act.187 The bill would encourage colleges
and universities to remove criminal and juvenile justice questions from their admissions
applications and give more Americans a chance to earn a higher education.
Through the appropriations process, Senator Schatz directed the United States Department of
Education to proactively distribute the “Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education
for Justice-Involved Individuals” resource guide to colleges and universities. He also directed the
Department to provide technical assistance to colleges and universities to help examine whether,
when, and how to use criminal justice information in the higher education admissions and
enrollment process.

C.

Streamlining Federal Compassionate Release

Although federal compassionate release does not directly impact state prisoners, it is an important
issue for Hawai‘i citizens who are incarcerated in federal prisons. Senator Schatz introduced the
Granting Release and Compassion Effectively (GRACE) Act to improve the United States Bureau
of Prison’s approval process for compassionate release and create an expedited process for
terminally ill patients.188 The bill would make the compassionate release process fairer and more
accountable and would, in in the long term, reduce overall federal prison spending without
compromising public safety. The bill was included in the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill,
the First Step Act, which passed the House of Representatives in 2018 and is expected to pass the
Senate.189

D.

Supporting Prison Rape Elimination Act Programs

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA)190 was designed to end sexual violence in
federal, state, and local detention facilities. Under PREA, DOJ created regulations to detect,
prevent, and respond to sexual assault and abuse in confinement. PREA requires the governors of
each state to report to DOJ on an annual basis about their progress in complying with its

60

regulations. Currently, 19 states have certified full compliance and an additional 29 states are
working toward full implementation.
Even with PREA, sexual abuse in confinement remains a challenge. To improve PREA’s
outcomes, Senator Schatz has worked with United States Senator John Cornyn of Texas to get full
funding for prison rape prevention and prosecution programs, and to improve PREA compliance
audits.

61

CHAPTER 13
NEW JAILS AND PRISONS WON’T SOLVE HAWAI‘I’S CORRECTIONAL
PROBLEMS. THE STATE NEEDS NEW THINKING, BETTER IDEAS, AND A
COMMITMENT TO REHABILITATION RATHER THAN PUNISHMENT
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
–Albert Einstein

T

he State is moving ahead with plans to replace OCCC with a 1,380-bed jail for men in
Halawa Valley. It is also planning to greatly expand the Women’s Community Correctional
Facility in Kailua,191 and build new medium security housing units at the prisons on Maui,
Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i island.192
The new jail for men is estimated to cost $525 million.193 The estimated cost of the WCCC
expansion is $45 million, bringing the total cost of the new facilities on O‘ahu to $570 million.
The State has not released a cost estimate for the new prison beds on Maui, Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i
island but they will certainly cost millions more.
Building new jails and prisons without fundamentally changing our approach to corrections
would be short-sighted and a waste of money. The current system has been producing
consistently poor outcomes for at least 40 years, and it will continue to do so even with new
facilities because the problem is not the facilities—bad as they may be—but our belief that locking
people up under harsh conditions for long periods of time will make them better citizens. Until
we recognize that our approach is wrong, our correctional outcomes will not improve and our
communities will not be safer. What Hawai‘i needs at this critical juncture is to transition to a
much more effective and sustainable correctional model that focuses on rehabilitation rather than
punishment, and to adopt a strategic plan that addresses the many factors that are driving mass
incarceration and keeping our recidivism rate above 50%.
Before committing to the size, design, or location of a new jail, or any expansion of our correctional
system, the State—working in a truly collaborative manner with stakeholders and the public—
should focus on expanding programs that divert low-level offenders away from the criminal justice
system, enact bail reform to reduce the number of pretrial detainees in the jail, create forensic
treatment facilities for offenders who are mentally ill, expand community-based programs as an
alternative to jail for misdemeanants, house HOPE Probation violators in community-based

62

housing instead of jail, and reserve jail for the small number of individuals who are a flight risk
and/or a danger to society.

A.

The Difference Between Jails and Prisons

It is important to understand
the difference between jails
and prisons. Prisons are
secure facilities that typically
house people who have been
convicted of a felony and are
serving a sentence of more
than one year.
Jails, in
contrast, do not house longterm prisoners.
They
typically house: (1) pretrial
detainees, i.e., people who
are presumed innocent and
awaiting trial; (2) probation
violators; (3) persons serving
sentences of one year or less;
(4) a small number of
convicted felons who are serving very short sentences; and (5) felons who have served most of
their sentences and are preparing to reenter society. In the 19-month period from January 2016 to
July 2017, approximately 45% of the men at OCCC were pretrial detainees, i.e., individuals who
are trying to arrange for bail, cannot afford bail, have been denied bail, or are waiting for
paperwork or a determination on conditions of release.194

63

B.

Criminal Justice Policies Drive the Jail and Prison
Population

Jail populations are
largely determined by
criminal justice policies.
Policies
that
favor
incarceration drive jail
populations up; policies
that favor alternatives to
incarceration drive jail
populations down. The
policies that have the
greatest effect on jail
population include: the presence or absence of diversion programs for non-violent, low-level
offenders; bail policies and procedures that affect the release of pretrial detainees; the validity of
the pretrial risk assessment instruments that are being used to make pretrial release decisions; how
efficiently paperwork is processed; the use of drug, mental health, and veterans courts;
prosecutorial policies; probation violation policies; the extent to which judges impose sentences
of one year or less; and policing policies. A clear understanding of the policies that drive the jail
population up or down is essential to good jail planning.

C.

Most of the OCCC Inmates are Relatively Low-Level
Offenders and the Mentally Ill

OCCC is located on a 16-acre property along Kamehameha Highway in Kalihi.195 It is the largest
jail in Hawai‘i and serves the entire Honolulu/O‘ahu population. OCCC has been operated by the
State of Hawai‘i since 1975 when it acquired the facility from the City and County of Honolulu,
which previously operated it as O‘ahu Prison.196 From 1978 to 1987, OCCC served as both a local
jail and a prison since the largest percentage of the inmate population was geographically centered
on O‘ahu. Since the opening of the Halawa Correctional Facility in 1987, OCCC has functioned
as a traditional jail, primarily housing prisoners awaiting trial (i.e., male and female pretrial
detainees), male inmates serving sentences of one year or less, sentenced male felons with less
than one year left on their sentences and who are preparing to transition back into the community,
and probation violators.197
Over the years, OCCC has expanded in a patchwork fashion from 456 beds to its current design
capacity of 628 beds and an operational capacity of 954 beds, but it has “consistently operated
above these capacities.”198 As of November 30, 2018, OCCC housed 1,212 prisoners: 1,050 males
and 162 females.199
The Department of Public Safety has published demographic data on the OCCC population in
connection with its plans for a new jail. Unless otherwise indicated, the data in the remainder of
this section is taken directly from the Department of Public Safety’s April 2017 newsletter on the
future of OCCC200 or from the brochure entitled Frequently Asked Questions (May 19, 2017).201
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Severity of Offense. The vast majority (81%) of the male OCCC population are associated with
relatively low-level Class C felonies (43%) or lesser offenses—misdemeanors, petty
misdemeanors, technical offenses, or violations. Among the women, 86% of the offenses are Class
C felonies or below, and 45% of those are misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors, technical offenses,
or violations.

Security Classification. Nearly 70% of the men at OCCC are in the two lowest security
classifications—Community Custody (63%) and Minimum Security (6%). Less than 1% of the
men have close or maximum security classifications. Over three quarters of the female inmates
(78%) are community or minimum security, and none are close or maximum security.

Status Classification. Status classification for men at OCCC is organized into 10 categories:
Pretrial Felons, Pretrial Misdemeanants, Sentenced Felons with less than one year left on their
sentence, Sentenced Misdemeanants, HOPE Probation Violators, Sentenced Probation Violators,
Other Probation Violators, Parole Violators, Hold, and Missing (data unavailable) prisoners.
Male Status. Among the male population, Pretrial Felons comprise the largest group (37%).
HOPE Probation Violators make up 18% of the male population, followed by Sentenced Felons
(17%) and Sentenced Felon Probationers (13%). The remaining 15% of the male population
comprise six categories: Sentenced Misdemeanants (5%), Pretrial Misdemeanants (4%), and
Probation Violators (3%). Parole Violators, Hold, and Missing (data unavailable) comprise less
than 1% each.
65

Female Status. The female population at OCCC is organized into eight categories with no inmates
classified as Sentenced Felons or Hold. Pretrial Felons make up the largest portion of the female
inmate population (33%). HOPE Probation violators comprise 27% of the female population
followed by Sentenced Felon Probationers (14%) and Pretrial Misdemeants (13%). The remaining
13% of the female population comprise four categories: Sentenced Misdemeanants (4%) and
Probation Violators (7%), with Parole Violators and Missing (data unavailable) comprising less
than 1% each.

The Homeless and Mentally Ill at OCCC. In 2016, the Honolulu Police Department made
16,000 arrests, of which 6,880 or 43% were homeless people. 202 The latest statistics indicate that
72% of the homeless detainees who came through the Honolulu police cellblock were mentally ill
or under the influence of drugs.203
The Department of Public Safety estimates that approximately 9.5% to 12% of all OCCC inmates
are deemed mentally ill.204 That means that as of June 30, 2018, when the total population was
1,340, OCCC housed between 127 and 161 mentally ill individuals. On average these individuals
cycle through OCCC three times per year, with some being incarcerated up to eight times per
year.205 PSD estimates that over the past year, approximately 696 Severe and Persistently Mentally
Ill (SPMI) people were incarcerated at OCCC, and that 450 to 600 of those individuals were at one
time or another on suicide watch.206 Additionally, PSD estimates that there were 38 inmates who
were considered mentally ill, but not Severe or Persistent.207 In addition to those diagnosed as
SPMI, “many among the OCCC population suffer from either Antisocial and/or Borderline
Personality Disorders, combined with Substance Use and Abuse Disorders.”208

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Chapter 14
COLLABORATION IS THE KEY TO PLANNING A JAIL THAT IS
AFFORDABLE, SAFE, EFFECTIVE, AND
MEETS THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY
A.

Collaboration and Community Input is a
Best Practice

I

n 2015, the MacArthur Foundation announced a five-year $75 million initiative to change the
way America thinks about and uses jails. The initiative was designed to support states, cities,
and counties that want to create smarter and more effective justice systems that improve public
safety, save taxpayer money, and lead to better social outcomes. In announcing the initiative,
MacArthur President Julia Stasch said:
Jails are where our nation’s incarceration problem begins; there are nearly 12 million jail
admissions every year, and jails too often serve as warehouses for those too poor to post
bail, non-violent offenders, or people with mental illness. With this substantial, long-term
commitment and investment, MacArthur hopes to support and demonstrate alternatives to
incarceration as usual, and to create demand and momentum for change across the
country.209

The core of the MacArthur initiative was a competition called the Safety and Justice Challenge,
through which the Foundation channeled millions of dollars to communities that have
demonstrated a commitment to reducing their reliance on jails and creating improved justice
systems through innovative, collaborative, and evidence-based solutions.
After a highly competitive selection process that drew applications from nearly 200 jurisdictions
in 45 states and territories (Hawai‘i was not one of them), the Foundation chose 20 jurisdictions
for initial grants to develop jail reform plans. Out of the 20 jurisdictions that received initial grants,
the Foundation selected 11 jurisdictions for grants of between $1.5 and $3.5 million to reduce their
jail populations and address racial and ethnic disparities in their justice systems.
The 11 jurisdictions that received grants were selected, in part, because they placed strong
emphasis on “community engagement and collaboration with local law enforcement, corrections
officials, prosecutors, defenders, judges, and other stakeholders” and developed an expansive array
of alternatives to incarceration.210 For example, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, developed a range of
strategies to reduce jail admissions by creating alternatives to cash bail, reducing case processing
time, increasing pretrial releases, developing non-incarceration sanctions for parole violators, and
improving access to defense counsel. It also initiated a program to divert first-time, low-level
67

offenders with treatment needs to a community-based site for clinical assessment and referral.
Philadelphia also plans to develop and validate a new risk assessment tool for use in pretrial
decision-making.
The plan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is somewhat different. It calls for expansion of the county’s
mental health diversion program and a new post-booking mental health stabilization program to
remove people with mental health issues from jail and connect them with services within 48 hours.
For those who continually cycle through the criminal justice system on public nuisance offenses,
a new strategy was developed to foster improved information-sharing, prompt and effective
interventions, and minimal use of jail. Milwaukee has also started work on a system-wide traumainformed response to justice system involvement, including diversion and sentencing options
initiated by the county prosecutor.
New Orleans, Louisiana, is reducing its jail population by expanding the use of summons in lieu
of arrest; deploying a newly trained Crisis Intervention Team to increase pre-booking diversion of
people with mental health or substance abuse problems; and instituting a variety of measures to
increase pretrial release, such as new risk-based decision-making protocols, strengthening defense
representation at first appearance hearings, initiating a new round of bond review hearings for any
person detained after seven days, and implementing implicit bias training for criminal justice
employees.
All of the proposals funded by the MacArthur Foundation have two things in common: (1) they
focused on the conditions within the community that are driving up jail admissions; and (2) the
jail reduction strategies were developed in a collaborative manner by a wide range of stakeholders.
For example, the successful Milwaukee proposal was developed by a planning group that
comprised nearly 50 stakeholders from the city; the county; the federal government; and private
organizations, including the Urban League, the Legal Aid Society, the NAACP, and the
Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.
One of the lessons of the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge is that there are many ways for
a community to reduce its jail population. The main thing is for communities to understand that
reducing their jail populations is a smart strategy for improving public safety, saving taxpayers’
money, and creating better social outcomes:
Potential solutions to the nation’s over reliance on jails include policing and arrest
practices, using citations in lieu of arrests, risk and needs assessments, improved case
processing, problem solving courts, specialty dockets, pretrial diversion, jail
programming and case management services, sentencing to alternatives to jail, deferred
prosecution, violation response matrices, transitional housing programs, and reentry
programming to decrease the odds that exiting inmates will reoffend and return to jail. It
is essential that these reforms are implemented in accordance with a strategic planning
process for system-wide change.211

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B.

PSD Has Not Engaged the Community in the Jail
Planning Process in a Meaningful Way

The first chapter of PSD and DAGS’ Progress Report to the 2016 Legislature on the new jail states
that the two departments have worked with their consulting team to determine the “vision for the
future of OCCC, the nature, scale, capacity and key features of the proposed facility, and the topics
of importance and issues of concern regarding the future of OCCC.”212 That statement perfectly
captures the problem with the planning process: every important element of the jail—vision,
nature, scale, capacity, and key features—was decided by PSD, DAGS, and the consulting team—
the Community was not involved at all. A project designed in this way has little chance of success
because jails impact many parts of the community and must be developed in an open and
collaborative manner that involves a wide range of stakeholders. The Task Force made this point
in its 2016 Interim Report.213 It is so important that the basic principles are worth repeating. Here
is what the authorities say about the importance of having a truly collaborative jail planning
process:

•

Successful jurisdictions use a collaborative approach to planning that
includes representation of all actors in the criminal justice system and the
community, including advocates, judges, administrators, legislators,
prosecutors, the defense bar, correctional officers, program operators, and
community members. The “buy in” from key stakeholders is absolutely
essential.214

•

“Community participation in planning is important because the jail belongs
to the community it serves; it is not solely the concern of the sheriff or
director of corrections. The type of facility a community builds and the way
it is used are as much a reflection of community values as they are of local,
state, and federal laws. It is common for stakeholders such as victim
advocates, business leaders, the clergy, educators, and elected officials to
actively participate on the community advisory committee. Stakeholders
who have overall responsibility for the jail, such as county [or state]
commissioners and the sheriff, should also be represented on the
community advisory committee.”215

•

“Affected groups must be on board to advance the new way of doing
business, and to move forward despite barriers and setbacks. Engaging the
community, the workforce, and other interested groups doesn't happen on
its own. As motivation for change starts to build, conversations can begin
with affected parties. Transparency and genuine opportunities for input by
constituents support engagement.”216

PSD has held informational meetings on the new jail that included an opportunity for the public
to comment, but that is not collaboration:

69

Collaboration is working together toward a common purpose—sharing a vision,
preparing a plan, and implementing the plan to achieve outcomes. It is standing
behind that plan as a singular group when outcomes are not realized, regrouping
and trying something anew. Collaboration means sharing the burden, the
responsibility, and the consequences together as a system. One of the main defining
characteristics that make the eight local criminal justice systems qualitatively
different from many others throughout the country is their ability to collaborate at
a systemic level—to put the greater good of the system and the principles of justice
before all else with individual stakeholders adjusting policy and practice to support
the overall vision.217

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CHAPTER 15
THE FIRST QUESTION ANY COMMUNITY CONTEMPLATING A NEW JAIL
SHOULD ASK IS NOT “HOW BIG IT SHOULD IT BE?”
BUT “HOW SMALL CAN WE MAKE IT?”
A.

Jail Planning Requires Community Engagement

T

he most important question a community can ask when planning a new jail, is not “how big
does it have to be”, but “how small can we make it?”218 Answering that question must
engage the whole community, which is why virtually every jurisdiction that is considering
a new jail is bringing together stakeholders in a collaborative process to address the conditions that
are driving jail populations up. Community engagement in the planning process is not merely a
national trend, it is a best practice that is almost universally followed. It is the first thing a
community contemplating a new jail must do, and the experience of the MacArthur Safety and
Justice Challenge illustrates how it is done.

B.

Strategies to Reduce the Jail Population
1.

Bail Reform

House Concurrent Resolution 134, H.D. 1, Regular Session 2017, calls on the Judiciary to convene
a task force to, among other things, recommend ways to maximize the release of pretrial detainees
who are in jail awaiting trial. Chief Justice Recktenwald designated First Circuit Court Judge Rom
A. Trader to chair the Task Force, which will present its final report to the Legislature at least
twenty days prior to the 2019 legislative session.
The HCR 85 Task Force does not know what the HCR 134 Task Force will recommend, but we
hope it will propose alternatives to cash bail, at least for indigent defendants who do not pose a
danger to society and are not a flight risk. This is significant because if the State could reduce the
number of pretrial detainees at OCCC by just 50%, it could save a substantial amount of money.
For example, as of July 31, 2018, there were 1,400 inmates assigned to OCCC, of which 612 or
43.7% were pretrial detainees (525 felony detainees and 87 misdemeanor detainees).219 It costs
$152 per day to incarcerate an inmate at OCCC, therefore the cost of housing the 612 pretrial
detainees on July 31, 2018, was $93,024. If half of the pretrial detainees were released through
bail reform, the cost of housing the remaining half would be $46,512 per day ($16.9 millon per
year).

71

Reducing the number of pretrial detainees by 50% through bail reform would also mean that the
State would need half as many pretrial beds at the new jail, and that would save hundreds of
millions of dollars in construction costs, not to mention millions of dollars more in additional
savings from reduced maintenance and operating costs over the life of the new jail.
2.

The HOPE Probation Program

HOPE Probation (Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) is a program that seeks to
reduce recidivism by high-risk probationers through the use of swift, certain, consistent, and
proportionate sanctions for any violation of the conditions of probation.
Probationers enrolled in HOPE Probation are subject to frequent, random drug testing. A violation
of the terms of probation, such as a positive drug test or a missed meeting with a probation officer
results in jail time, which could be as short as a two days, or longer depending on the nature of the
violation and the circumstances.
The initial evaluation of Hawai‘i’s HOPE Probation program in 2009 showed positive results.220
Participants had large reductions in positive drug tests and missed appointments and were
significantly less likely to be arrested during follow-up at 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.221
They averaged approximately the same number of days in jail for probation violations, serving
more but shorter terms. They spent about one-third as many days in jail on probation revocations
or new convictions. In a follow-up study published in 2016, HOPE probationers again showed
positive results in terms of reduced drug use, fewer probation revocations, being less likely to
commit new crimes during the follow-up period, and being more likely to receive early termination
of probation, but there was no statistical difference in terms of new charges for violent crimes.222
After its initial success in Hawai‘i, HOPE Probation spread to many jurisdictions on the mainland.
However, evaluations of the mainland programs, for the most part, were negative.223 They showed
little difference between those in “swift and certain” (SAC) programs, and those in probation-asusual (PAS) programs.224
One of the most successful programs on the mainland was in Washington State where a large
number of participants were tracked for one year. The SAC participants showed a consistent
pattern of reduced crime, but the differences between the SAC group and the supervision-as-usual
control group were small.225 Additionally, the SAC group received cognitive behavior therapy,
and it is possible that the differences in reconvictions could be attributable to the therapy rather
than to the punitive-based deterrent effect of SAC.226
Evaluation of programs following the HOPE Probation model in Massachusetts, Oregon, and
Texas reported no better recidivism outcomes for HOPE Probation than for probation-as-usual.227
The main criticisms of the HOPE Probation model are: (1) it has not been shown to produce longterm behavioral changes; (2) there is no persuasive body of evidence demonstrating that
compliance with supervision conditions is associated with lower recidivism rates; and (3) HOPE

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Probation punishes, but punishment does not address the main factors related to criminogenic
behavior.
Several Task Force members have expressed concerns about the HOPE Probation program
because those who fail to comply with the terms of probation are given an “open” prison term
followed by probation, which, in some cases, can result in some offenders being under some form
of correctional supervision for many years.
The bottom line is that the HOPE Probation program continues to have staunch supporters, and
staunch critics. The Task Force’s concern is that as of April 30, 2018, there were 303 HOPE
probationers at OCCC, comprising about 22 percent of the total jail population.228 It costs $46,000
a day to house 303 prisoners at OCCC, and building more than 300 beds for them at the proposed
new jail and the women’s facility in Kailua, could easily exceed $100 million.
The Task Force questions whether it is necessary or cost effective to house probation violators in
jail. We recommend that the State consider using other types of housing for most HOPE probation
violators, and at least some of the parole violators who are in prison. These probation and select
parole violators could be housed in dormitories built as part of the OCCC replacement project, or
assigned to community-based facilities where, in either case, the reasons they violated the
conditions of probation or parole could be addressed by mental health and/or addiction treatment
professionals, and hopefully remedied.

3.

The LEAD Program

Hawai‘i has started a jail diversion pilot program in O‘ahu’s Chinatown based on the highly
successful LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program that was started in the Seattle
area in 2011. The pilot project is popular with residents and has received unanimous support from
the Downtown/Chinatown Neighborhood Board.
LEAD gives law enforcement officers discretion to redirect low-level, non-violent offenders to
community-based services instead of jail and prosecution. Evaluations of Seattle’s LEAD program
show that participants were 58% less likely to be arrested after enrollment,229 and were
significantly more likely than the control group to obtain housing, employment, and legitimate
income in any given month subsequent to their LEAD referral.230 LEAD has been established or
is under consideration in more than forty jurisdictions across the continental United States and has
proven to be effective in offering individual case management services that are non-coercive and
non-punitive.231
Nearly 40% of OCCC’s inmates are charged with misdemeanors or lower offenses, i.e., petty
misdemeanors, technical offenses, or violations.232 LEAD will divert some of these individuals to
programs that will assist them, so that they will not enter the criminal justice system and be
admitted to jail.

73

LEAD has strong leadership and broad community support. There is every reason to believe that
it will be a success and will expand to many other neighborhoods on O‘ahu and significantly reduce
the number of beds needed for any new jail. It is worth noting that after hearing a presentation on
LEAD, police chiefs on neighbor islands expressed an interest in establishing LEAD on their
islands.
4.

Improved Pretrial Procedures and Case Processing

A critical factor in reducing jail populations is the length of stay (LOS) for those who are admitted
to jail. The Justice Reinvestment-Hawai‘i Initiative (JRI) studied case processing in Hawai‘i and
found that between 2006 and 2011, the average length of stay for felons released on their own
recognizance increased from 31 days to 59 days, and the average length of stay for felons who
received supervised release increased from 84 days to 102 days.233
FY 2006 Releases
Bail (33%)
Release on own recognizance (8%)
Supervised Release (34%)

Average LOS
31 days
31 days
84 days

FY 2011 Releases
Bail (42%)
Release on own recognizance (14%)
Supervised Release (29%)

Average LOS
32 days
59 days
102 days

JRI also reported that the length of stay
for individuals in the City and County of
Honolulu compared unfavorably with
other counties. A 2008 study found that
Honolulu had the longest average length
of stay in jail for those ultimately
released during the pretrial stage. Of
the 39 counties, 32 were able to release
defendants
under
non-financial
conditions in 15 days or fewer, but
Honolulu’s average length of stay for the
same type of defendants was 71 days.234

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JRI recommended, among other things, that Hawai‘i require the use of an objective risk assessment
tool to inform pretrial detention and release decisions and that it conduct risk assessments within
three days of admission to jail.235 These recommendations were enacted into law in 2012236 and
were expected to reduce the length of stay at OCCC by identifying low-risk individuals who could
be released quickly.
On May 16, 2017, the Task Force’s Program subcommittee met via Skype with Bree Derrick,
Program Director of the Council of State Governments who worked on Hawai‘i’s Justice
Reinvestment Initiative. In preparation for the meeting Ms. Derrick obtained data from PSD that
shows that between December 2011 and December 2016, the pretrial population for Honolulu
increased by 8%. The data also showed that the prisoners who were released on their own
recognizance or on supervised release spent almost twice as many days in jail as those released on
bail or bond:
Type of Release
Bail/Bond
Release on Own Recognizance
Supervised Release

Percent
48%
16%
37%

Days to Release
38 days
85 days
97 days

Ms. Derrick did not speculate on why the pretrial population was increasing, but she mentioned
that JRI had some concern that Hawai‘i’s risk assessment instrument might be putting an unusually
high number of inmates in the “high risk” category. She also noted that the instrument had a
number of “overrides” that could be affecting risk levels. She recommended taking a hard look at
the risk assessment instrument to find out whether it is contributing to the increase in pretrial
detainees, and whether the “overrides” might also be contributing to the problem.
The Task Force concurs with those recommendations and also recommends that the State
undertake a concerted effort to significantly reduce the length of stay at OCCC. Improving case
processing and expediting releases will significantly contribute to reducing jail populations.
5.

Eliminate Short Sentences in Favor of Community-Based Alternatives

A growing body of research suggests that even short-term incarceration may increase the
likelihood of future criminal justice involvement, especially for individuals who pose a low risk
of re-arrest.237 Currently, there are 176 male sentenced felony probationers and 39 male sentenced
misdemeanants at OCCC.238 Sentencing just half of those relatively low-level offenders to
community-based programs instead of incarceration would reduce the jail population and save
millions of dollars in new jail construction costs.
Reducing the use of short jail sentences can be an effective public safety strategy. The State should
expand the availability of evidence-based alternatives to longer jail sentences and use risk and
need assessment instruments to match defendants with appropriate programs.

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6.

The Mentally Ill Should Not Be Housed in Jails

When Task Force members visited OCCC in November 2015, there were 97 prisoners in the
mental health and combined mental health/medical modules. Hand written signs over two of the
cells read “Jane Doe,” indicating that neither the police nor prison officials had been able to
identify the occupants, one of whom was dancing about wildly while pulling on her hair. The
other Jane Doe was lying on the floor of the cell in what appeared to be a catatonic state.
Anyone who has spent time with the mentally ill knows that they suffer from their disease as much
as patients with physical illnesses:
Untreated or undertreated, mentally ill prisoners suffer painful symptoms. They rant and
rave, babble incoherently or huddle silently in their cells. They talk to invisible
companions and live in worlds constructed of hallucinations. They lash out without
provocation and often refuse to obey orders. They beat their heads against cell walls, cover
themselves with feces, and self-mutilate until their bodies are riddled with scars. Many
attempt suicide; some succeed.239

When correctional officers are in charge of the mentally ill, things often go wrong. Nothing
illustrates this better than the findings of the United States Department of Justice team that
conducted an on-site inspection of OCCC in 2005.
They found, among other things, that OCCC staff:
•

Subjected detainees with mental illness to harmful methods of isolation, seclusion,
and restraint.

•

Used psychotropic medications as punishment.

•

Used a practice they called “therapeutic lockdown” to punish detainees by putting
them in solitary confinement and denying them contact with mental health staff.

•

Failed to assess and monitor suicide watch detainees in a timely manner. While in
isolation and on suicide watch, detainees did not have sufficient contact with
security and mental health staff to provide constitutionally-required care.

•

Failed to provide detainees with constitutionally adequate mental health treatment
or therapy programs and services.

•

Failed to provide detainees adequate discharge services, increasing the likelihood
of detainees being reincarcerated.

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•

Failed to adequately assess detainees’ mental health needs or to provide them with
adequate or needed treatments, therapies, or services.

•

Lacked adequate clinical leadership or organizational structures.240

The Vera Institute of Justice has noted that the prevalence of people with mental illness in jail is
at odds with the design, operation, and resources of most jails.
Characterized by constant noise, bright lights, an ever-changing population, and an
atmosphere of threat and violence, most jails are unlikely to offer any respite for people
with mental illness. According to the latest available data, 83 percent of jail inmates with
mental illness did not receive mental health care after admission. The lack of treatment in
a chaotic environment contributes to a worsening state of illness and is a major reason why
those with mental illness in jail are more likely to be placed in solitary confinement, either
as punishment for breaking rules or for their own protection since they are also more likely
to be victimized.241
While most people with serious mental illness in jails, both men and women, enter jail
charged with minor, non-violent crimes, they end up staying in jail for longer periods of
time. In Los Angeles, for example, Vera found that users of the Department of Mental
Health's services on average spent more than twice as much time in custody than did the
general custodial population—43 days and 18 days respectively.242

The Task Force believes that mentally ill detainees should be housed in a separate facility that
follows best psychiatric practices and provides humane treatment.
We also note that the Department of Public Safety has recommended expanded residential service
programs for individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and a
statutory requirement that fitness examinations be completed within 30 days. Currently, the
examinations can take up to four months.243

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CHAPTER 16
DESIGNING JUSTICE—CREATING MORE HUMANE AND
REHABILITATIVE JAILS
Jails as we know them are obsolete – they are based on outmoded ideas and are not suitable to
current challenges.
—Ken Ricci, architect and national jail expert

A

lthough PSD’s 2016 Report to the Legislature says that it has already determined the
vision, nature, scale, capacity, and key features of the new jail, they have not made that
information public, except for capacity (1,380 beds). The following are some important
design issues that should be considered for any new jail:
Vision Statement
A large percentage of the jail population consists of people who are awaiting trial. They have not
been convicted of a crim, and they are are preseumed innocent. They should not be treated as
criminal because they are not criminals, and the design and operation of the new jail should reflect
that fact. The jail design should be non-punitive and should respect the dignity of every person
admitted to the facility.
Capacity
As noted above, the State should establish and expand “off ramps” such as LEAD to reduce the
number of beds needed for the new jail. The projected jail population should be reduced by bail
reform, better risk assessment instruments, improved case management, faster paperwork
processing, reducing the HOPE Probation population, shorter sentences for low level offenders,
and moving the mentally ill to an appropriate non-carceral setting for treatment.
Clustered Housing and Direct Security
Clustered housing refers to a design in which single cells of similarly classified inmates are
arranged around a central living area used for dining, case management, programs, and
recreation.244

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Direct security refers to a management/architectural design in which corrections officers are
stationed in the inmate residential area.245 Clustered housing combined with dynamic security
provides improved opportunities for staff to interact with inmates in a friendly, helpful, and
supportive way. By reducing the physical barriers between staff and inmates, dynamic security
helps staff to strengthen communication with inmates and identify problems before they escalate.
Smart Design
Architect and jail expert Ken
Ricci has noted that a large
percentage of those admitted
to jail are diagnosed as having
mental health issues, and
therefore it is important to
have judges and mental health
workers on site at the jail to
quickly assess detainees, and either send them to a secure facility if they are dangerous, release
them if they are not a risk to public safety, or get them to a hospital or clinic for treatment if they
are mentally ill. Such decisions should be made within 24 hours in most cases. New jails should
not “replicate the discredited warehouse model”246 now found in many cities (including Honolulu).
Further, large-capacity, high-rise jails are “conceptually deficient and operationally obsolete” at
the outset. Jails in the 21st century should be “smaller, smarter, greener, and kinder.”247
Site Selection
How should the jail relate to the broader community? Should it be built in an isolated location to
satisfy the not-in-my-backyard mentality? Or can a well-designed jail benefit the community of
which it is a part?
The City of New York is exploring ways to reconnect jails to the urban environment and provide
economic opportunities to nearby business such as markets, restaurants, and retail shops that can
appeal to the many people who frequent the jail, including lawyers, doctors, teachers, clergy,
volunteers, service providers, members of the parole board, administrators, guards, social workers,
police, sheriffs, and the families of prisoners.248

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Wrapping Old Ideas in A New Package Will Not Improve Public
Safety
PSD and DAGS have spent millions of dollars on the preliminary design and site selection for a
new jail, but they have not focused on the most important elements of jail planning, which are: (1)
engaging the community in a meaningful way; (2) finding ways to reduce the jail population; and
(3) designing a jail that meets the needs of the community and reflects its core values. Unless
PSD, DAGS, and their consultants change course quickly, we have no doubt that the new jail will
have a slick modern look, but it will amount to nothing more than a repackaging of all the problems
and bad ideas of the old jail, and like the old jail, it will create bad outcomes for the next half
century or more.
The jail that the State is planning will be a relic of the past the moment it is completed, because no
matter how modern it looks from the outside, it will be based on outmoded and obsolete ideas and
a failed planning process. The Legislature should recognize this and order PSD and DAGS to
start the jail planning process over again and focus on building a smart, small, and humane 21st
century jail instead of the monolithic 19th century jail that is now on the drawing boards.

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CHAPTER 17
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

A

dopting the recommendations in this report will result in a correctional system that
represents the core values of Hawai‘i’s people, reduces the prison population and
recidivism rate, and makes our communities safer. The Task Force also believes that this
is the most cost-effective and sustainable path for the future, and it is in line with the reforms
taking place in other states as more people come to realize that a punitive and retributive
correctional system simply does not work. The opportunities for real and lasting change in our
correctional are all within reach, and we hope Hawai‘i will join the many cities, states, and
countries that are reducing their jail and prison populations and revitalizing their communities with
the savings that accrue from smarter criminal justice policies. For example:
•

In Oklahoma City, a Task Force created by the Chamber of Commerce and
led by NBA team owner Clay Bennett is at the forefront of jail reform. Even
though jails are “outside the chamber’s wheelhouse,” the city’s business
leaders felt they had no choice but to get involved: “The jail is filled with
mothers, poor people who are addicted or mentally ill. Until we fix this, I
don’t care what else we’ve done. We’ve failed,” Bennett said.249 The Task
Force’s goal was to create a local justice system that reflected the
community’s values of “fairness, compassion and good governance” and
create a jail that is a safe and humane place for both staff and inmates.250
With the assistance of the Vera Justice Institute, the Oklahoma City Task
Force developed, and are starting to implement, strategies to reduce their
jail population and create a more equitable, humane, and cost-effective
justice system.251

•

The City of New York is home to one of the country’s largest and most
notorious jails—Rikers Island. In 2016, the Speaker of the City Council
decided that something had to be done about the jail, and turned to Judge
Jonathan Lippman, the retired Chief Judge of the New York Court of
Appeals. Judge Lippman formed a commission that developed a brilliant
and comprehensive plan to replace the Rikers Island jail with smaller, safer,
and more humane community jails in each of the city’s five boroughs, and
to completely rethink incarceration and jail design.252 The commission now
has full-time staff and is working with city and state officials to implement
its recommendations.253

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•

West Virginia’s prison population increased 50% between 2002 and 2012,
and was projected to grow an additional 24% by 2018. Recognizing that
such increases were unacceptable, state leaders, working with the Council
of State Governments Justice Center, developed a data-driven policy
framework to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety. West
Virginia focused on expanding drug courts and substance abuse
counselling, and providing inmates with greater supervision after release.254
As a result of these and other policies, the state brought its incarceration rate
under control and avoided having to spend $200 million on a new prison.255

•

Texas is the prototypical “lock’em up, tough on crime” state, which is why,
in 2007, it desperately needed 17,000 new prison beds at a cost of more than
$2 billion.256 Instead of building new prisons and sticking taxpayers with
the bill, state leaders studied the drivers of prison growth and researched
effective approaches to reducing recidivism.257 After completing a lengthy
survey, legislators adopted a “justice reinvestment” package for treatment
and diversion programs designed to stop prison expansion while protecting
public safety. Texas expanded its specialty courts from nine to more that
160, reduced parole revocations by 39%,258 built hundreds of new halfway
house and substance abuse treatment beds, and capped parole caseloads at
75 to ensure closer supervision.259 The result was that probation failures
fell,260 parolees committed fewer crimes,261 the Texas crime rate fell faster
than the national rate,262 the Texas government saved $2 billion, and for the
first time in modern history, instead of building new prisons, Texas closed
or shut down nine juvenile detention facilities.263

These are but a few of the dozens of success stories from across the country where communities
have come together to address the forces driving up jail and prison populations and costs. Instead
of building new jails and prisons, they have reformed their bail systems, reduced sentences for
low-level offenses, increased the availability of mental health and substance abuse treatment,
focused on diverting the poor and mentally ill from the criminal justice system, strengthened
reentry programs, expanded drug and mental health courts, and adopted community-based
alternatives to prison that help, heal, educate, and support rather than punish.
Mai nānā ‘ino‘ino
Behold not with malevolence
Nā hewa o kānaka
The sins of man
Akā e huekala
But forgive
A ma‘ema‘e no
And cleanse*
*

Ka Aloha O Ka Haku, also known as “Lili‘uokalani’s Prayer” was composed by Queen Lili‘uokalani on
March 22, 1895 while imprisoned in ‘Iolani Palace following the overthrow of her government by sugar
planters and the United States Navy.

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RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE HCR 85 TASK FORCE
1.

Transition to a more effective and sustainable correctional model that focuses on
rehabilitation rather than punishment.
Related Recommendations
A.

Rehabilitation should be the primary mission of the Department of Public
Safety (“PSD”).
PSD’s vision statement, mission statement, and
departmental goals and objectives should clearly and explicitly reflect that
mission and endorse the principle that rehabilitation is the most effective
means of reducing recidivism and making our communities safer.

B.

The Hawai‘i criminal justice system (courts, corrections, parole, probation,
and attorney general) should be guided by the following principles:

C.

i.

The best way to make our communities safer is to prevent crime
from happening in the first place. To do that, we must develop, fund,
and support programs and institutions that address the root causes of
crime in our communities.

ii.

The criminal justice system should be grounded in Hawai‘i’s core
values and recognize the inherent worth of every person. It should
not just administer laws and maintain order, it should develop
policies and programs that strengthen, restore, and repair our
communities and make them safer.

iii.

The criminal justice system should focus on accountability and
rehabilitation instead of retribution and punishment.

The basic elements of the rehabilitative correctional system should include:
i.

Loss of freedom should be the only punishment of a prison sentence.
Conditions within the prison should not be punitive. Prisoners
should be treated with dignity and respect and be provided with the
skills they need to make a successful transition back into the
community.

ii.

Prison staff should be retrained to support the rehabilitative process.
The training should, at a minimum, include psychology, ethics, law,
and the principles of dynamic security. Prison staff should be
selected on the basis of their ability to help inmates overcome
criminogenic behavior and staff should serve as role models,
counselors, and mentors for inmates.

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2.

iii.

The correctional system should reflect Hawai‘i’s core values,
particularly the Aloha Spirit as defined in §5-7.5, Haw. Rev. Stat.

iv.

The State should adopt the four key elements of the highly
successful Norwegian/European correctional system, namely:
a.

Normality Principle – Conditions inside of prisons should
mirror conditions on the outside to the greatest extent
possible. This avoids “institutionalizing” prisoners and
better prepares them for release.

b.

Dynamic Security – Guards should have close, supportive,
and continuous interaction with prisoners.

c.

Import Model – The government agencies that deliver
services to the general public should also serve prisoners.

d.

Progression Toward Reintegration – Prisoners should
proceed towards release in a systematic way, going from
high security to lower security, and finally to release, unless
security reasons dictate otherwise.

Adopt a comprehensive strategy to address the
overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal
justice and correctional systems.
Related Recommendations
A.

Break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration of Native Hawaiians starting with
improvements to the juvenile justice system such as those recommended by Dr.
Karen Umemoto and her colleagues at the University of Hawai‘i in their report
Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Hawai‘i Juvenile Justice System 20002010.
The recommendations, broadly stated, fall into four categories:
i.

Build a more comprehensive, collaborative, and restorative juvenile
justice system to divert youth away from the juvenile system and
toward pathways of success.

ii.

Improve outcomes for Native Hawaiian youth at all critical decision
points in the juvenile justice system: arrest, detention, prosecution,
sentencing, probation and protective supervision placement,
incarceration, and reentry.

84

B.

iii.

Utilize anti-bias and youth development training.

iv.

Improve data collection and conduct further research to improve
outcomes for Native Hawaiian youth.

To address the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiian adults in the criminal justice
and correctional system, the State should:
i.

Create cultural courts in each judicial circuit to divert Native
Hawaiians from prison and promote rehabilitation.

ii.

Fund at least one full-time position to coordinate Native Hawaiian
cultural, educational, and religious programming in all PSD
facilities. Cultural practices should not be inhibited by exaggerated
security concerns.

iii.

Expand Native Hawaiian educational programs in the prison system.
The curricula should include, at a minimum, Hawaiian history,
culture, language, dance, and religion.

iv.

C.

Make culturally relevant reentry programs available to Native Hawaiians
through:
a.

Drop-in and/or residential wellness centers rooted in Native
Hawaiian values, practices, and principles.

b.

Case navigators that provide ongoing support to recently released
prisoners.

c.

Drop-in and residential drug treatment programs.

d.

Places that allow Native Hawaiians to engage in land and oceanbased activities, including growing their own food.

Implement the recommendations of the 2012 Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force.

85

3.

Set numerical goals and a timetable for reducing Hawai‘i’s
prison population, and in particular, the number and
percent of Native Hawaiians in the correctional system.

4.

Create a Sentencing Reform Commission to review the penal
code with the goal of downgrading offenses and shortening
sentences.
Related Recommendations
A.

5.

Among the changes to the penal code that the Sentencing Reform
Commission should consider are:
i.

Making certain offenses eligible for community-based sentences.

ii.

Reducing the length and severity of custodial sentences by
redefining or reclassifying crimes or repealing mandatory penalties.

iii.

Shortening lengths of stay in prison by expanding opportunities to
earn sentence credits, which shave off time in custody and advance
parole eligibility.

iv.

Reducing the number of people entering jails and prison for
violations of community supervision by implementing evidencebased practices such as graduated responses to violations.

Create an Independent Prison Oversight and
Implementation Commission
Related Recommendations
A.

Independent prison oversight is a “best practice.” Hawai‘i should create an
Independent Prison Oversight and Implementation Commission with
authority to:
i.

Examine every part of every correctional facility.

ii.

Visit every correctional facility without prior notice.

iii.

Conduct confidential interviews with prisoners and staff.

iv.

Review all records, except that special procedures may be
implemented for highly confidential information.

86

6.

B.

The Commission should be adequately funded and staffed, and the
Executive Director should be appointed by an elected official to a fixed
term, confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate, and subject to removal only for
cause.

C.

Procedures should be in place to enable inmates and staff to communicate
confidentially, and adequate safeguards should be established to protect
those who communicate with the Commission from retaliation.

D.

The Commission’s reports should be readily available to the public, posted
on the internet, and be disseminated to the media, the Legislature, and top
elected officials.

E.

To guard against the risk that monitoring reports are ignored by correctional
officials, facility administrators should be required to respond publicly to
the reports and to develop and implement in a timely way action plans to
correct identified problems.

F.

The Commission should oversee the transition from a punitive to a
rehabilitative correctional system and ensure that prison reform laws and
policies are promptly, faithfully, and effectively implemented.

Create a Corrections Academy to educate and train
correctional workers at all levels.
Related Recommendations
A.

The Corrections Academy should train and educate correctional
administrators, staff, guards, parole and probation officers, judges, and
Judiciary staff.

B.

A primary mission of the Corrections Academy staff should be to stay
abreast of the correctional literature and maintain a library of studies and
reports on best practices. The Corrections Academy should independently
collect and analyze correctional data and recommend changes to the
correctional system based on data analysis and best practices.

C.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa should be encouraged to offer bachelor
and master degrees in criminal justice. This would provide a reservoir of
highly educated correctional professionals who can staff, support, and
continuously improve the correctional system.

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7.

Improve in-custody programs by focusing on evidencebased programs that will prepare prisoners for reentry into
society.
Related Recommendations

8.

A.

Many of the programs offered in Hawai‘i’s prisons are being evaluated by
the Research and Evaluation in Public Safety Project (REPS) at the
University of Hawai‘I’s Social Science Research Institute. PSD should
make the evaluations public, and eliminate programs that are not successful
and replace them with programs that have a proven track record of success.

B.

Hawai‘i should improve in-custody programs by:
i.

Expanding restorative justice programs.

ii.

Expanding opportunities for prisoners to take community college
courses.

iii.

Creating a prison-to-college pipeline.

iv.

Ensuring that every prisoner is functionally literate by the time they
are released.

v.

Adequately funding Hawai‘i’s sex offender treatment program.

vi.

Expanding and strengthening visitation and family contacts.

vii.

Evaluating programs on a continuous basis and making those
evaluations public.

Improve the reentry process and support the development of
new transitional housing.
Related Recommendations
A.

Adopt the following principles of reentry (based on principles developed by
President Barack Obama’s Justice Department):
i.

Planning for reentry should begin at the time of admission. Every
inmate should be provided with an individualized reentry plan
tailored to his or her risk of recidivism and programmatic needs.
Plans should be updated and revised continuously until the time of
release.

88

ii.

iii.

While incarcerated, each inmate should be provided with education,
employment training, life skills training, substance abuse treatment,
mental health treatment, and other programs that target their
criminogenic needs and maximize the likelihood of success upon
release.
a.

The curricula for these programs should be grounded in
evidence-based programs that reduce recidivism.

b.

There should be a standardization of evidence-based
programming across facilities so that an inmate can complete
programs even if he or she is transferred from one facility to
another.

c.

To remedy gaps in education and employment skills, prisons
should ensure that education programs expand the quality,
scope, and delivery of the academic and job training
curricula, particularly the curricula targeted to those with
literacy and special learning needs.

While incarcerated, each inmate should be provided the resources
and opportunity to build and maintain family relationships,
strengthening the support system available upon release.
a.

Create comfortable, friendly space for contact visits with
family. Use video services only when family members are
unable to visit in person. Telephone calls to family members
should be encouraged and provided to inmates free of
charge.

b.

Expand the use of furloughs to visit family, children, and
significant others.

iv.

Develop new programs to support and aid children of incarcerated
parents.

v.

During the transition back to the community, halfway houses and
supervised release programs should ensure individualized
continuity of care.
a.

Contract with non-profit corporations to increase the number
of halfway houses.

b.

Make the halfway houses therapeutic centers where gains
made in prison can be sustained and strengthened.

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vi.

Before leaving prison, every inmate should be provided with
comprehensive reentry-related information and access to the
resources necessary to succeed in the community.

B.

PSD should create a unit dedicated to finding appropriate housing for
difficult-to-place inmates such as those who are elderly, disabled, mentally
ill, or have chronic illnesses. This unit should work with state and federal
agencies to establish protocols that will quickly and efficiently process
applications for health insurance and other benefits, and quickly respond to
requests for medical records and other information from hospitals, care
homes, and hospices. When a bed in a care home becomes available, PSD
and the Paroling Authority must be able to quickly to arrange for prisoners
to be admitted because most facilities cannot afford to keep a bed open for
more than a day or two.

C.

The State should designate Leahi Hospital as the default placement for
compassionate release prisoners whose condition requires a Skilled Nursing
Facility (SNF) or an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF).

D.

At the time of release, all prisoners should have:
i.

A decent place to live.

ii.

A state identification card, a social security card, and a birth
certificate.

iii.

Health insurance and, if necessary, public assistance benefits.

iv.

Employment if the individual is employable.

v.

Ongoing addiction and/or mental health treatment if necessary.

vi.

Access to wellness centers rooted in Native Hawaiian values.

vii.

Access to higher education or programs to complete a secondary
education.

E.

Review statutes that erect barriers to reentry and determine whether they
should be continued, amended, or terminated.

F.

Expand and improve transitional housing capacity through partnerships
with non-profit corporations.

G.

Streamline the State’s compassionate release process.

90

9.

Expand Hawai‘i’s treatment courts to accommodate more
offenders.

10.

Improve conditions for incarcerated women.

11.

A.

Develop and implement more gender-specific programs for women.

B.

Developand fund additional Fernhurst-style facilities to accommodate more
women on work furlough and recently paroled women.

Support federal justice reform legislation that would benefit
Hawai‘i.
A.

The Restoring Education and Learning Act (REAL).

B.

The Second Chance Pell Pilot Program.

C.

Funding for the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

D.

Legislation to end collateral consequences for justice-involved individuals.

E.

Legislation to streamline federal compassionate release.

12.

Develop a realistic plan to stop using private prisons and
bring our prisoners on the mainland home. The plan should
be a collaborative effort by government officials and public
stakeholders and should be part of a comprehensive
strategic plan that includes the replacement of OCCC and
the transition to a rehabilitative correctional model.

13.

Stop planning a large capacity jail to replace OCCC and
establish a working group of stakeholders and government
officials to rethink the jail issue and create a jail that is
smaller and smarter than the one now under consideration.
Related Recommendations
A.

Before committing to the size, design, or location of the new jail, the State—
working collaboratively with stakeholders and the public—should
determine the vision, goals, objectives, and philosophy of the new jail, how

91

it will operate, the types of people it will house, the programs it will operate,
the services it will provide, and how it will provide them.
B.

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a highly successful
program to divert low-level, non-violent offenders away from the criminal
justice system and provide them with individualized case management
services. A LEAD pilot program is now underway in Honolulu’s
Chinatown. If, as we suspect, the program is successful, LEAD should be
expanded to other neighborhoods and other communities throughout the
state.

C.

The jail should be designed with clustered housing.
The clustered housing model is a best practice that calls for the use of single
cells arranged around a central living area or “pod.” Services are provided
in the living area or “community centers” where individuals can move about
freely.

D.

The jail should be designed for direct supervision.
A “direct supervision” jail places a correctional officer within the “pod” or
central living area where he or she can see the inmates and relate to them
on a personal level. This increases the officer’s ability to closely monitor
activity within the unit and detect problems before they escalate. If properly
implemented, direct supervision can significantly reduce violence and
create a safer environment for staff and inmates.

E.

Reduce the jail population by eliminating short jail sentences in favor of
community-based alternatives.
A growing body of research suggests that short-term incarceration increases
the likelihood of future criminal justice involvement, especially for
individuals who pose a low risk of re-arrest. If half of OCCC’s low level
offenders were sentenced to community-based programs instead of jail, it
would reduce the jail population and the likelihood of those individuals
reoffending.

F.

Bail reform.
Reform Hawai‘i’s bail system to ensure that no pretrial detainees are
detained in jail solely because they are unable to post bail or obtain a bail
bond. This would significantly reduce the jail population.

92

G.

Improve pretrial procedures and case processing.
Hawai‘i’s pretrial procedures should be streamlined so that defendants
spend no more than 72 hours in jail before being released on bail, bond,
their own recognizance, or supervised release.

H.

The mentally ill should not be housed in jail.
In 2016, the Honolulu Police Department made 16,000 arrests, of which
6,880 or 43% were homeless people. The police department has also
reported that 72% of the homeless detainees that came through the Honolulu
cellblock were mentally ill or under the influence of drugs
PSD estimates that 9.5% to 12% of all OCCC inmates are mentally ill. That
means that as of July 31, 2018, when the total OCCC population was 1,397,
there were between 133 and 168 mentally ill individuals in the jail. On
average, mentally ill individuals cycle through the jail three times per year,
with some being incarcerated up to eight times per year. PSD estimates that
over the past year, approximately 696 Severe and Persistently Mentally Ill
(SPMI) people were incarcerated at OCCC, and that 450 to 600 of those
individuals were at one time or another on suicide watch. Additionally,
PSD estimates that there were 38 inmates who were considered mentally ill,
but not Severe or Persistent. In addition to those diagnosed as SPMI, many
among the OCCC population suffer from either Antisocial and/or
Borderline Personality Disorders combined with Substance Use and Abuse
Disorders.
The mentally ill should not be housed in jails; they should be housed in
separate facilities staffed by mental health professionals.

I.

A judge and mental health workers should be on-site at the jail to facilitate
release or referral to a mental health center.

J.

Create alternative (non-jail) housing for sanctioned HOPE Probation
violators and low-risk parole violators.
HOPE Probation is a program that seeks to reduce the recidivism rate of
high-risk probationers through the use of swift, certain, and proportional
sanctions for violation of the conditions of probation. A short jail term is
one of the sanctions available for HOPE Probation violations. As of July
31, 2018, there were 259 HOPE Probation violators at OCCC.
The Task Force questions whether it is necessary and cost effective to put
probation violators in jail. We recommend that the State consider using
minimum security, non-jail sanctions for most HOPE Probation violators
and at least some of the 476 parole violators who are in prison. These

93

probation and select parole violators could be housed in dormitories built as
part of the OCCC replacement project or, if circumstances warrant, assigned
to community-based facilities where, in either case, the reasons they
violated the conditions of probation or parole could be addressed and
hopefully remedied.

94

ENDNOTES
1

E. Ann Carson and Joseph Mulako-Wangota, “Count of Year End Total Jurisdiction Population
(Hawaii),” Bureau of Justice Statistics. Report generated using the Corrections Statistical
Analysis Tool (CSAT) – Prisoners, (August 13, 2018), https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=nps.
2

Bureau of Justice Statistics, Historical Statistics on Prisoners in State and Federal Institutions
Yearend 1925-86, by Patrick A. Langan, John V. Fundis, Lawrence A. Greenfeld, and Victoria
W. Schneider, NCJ -111098 (Washington, D.C.: May 1988), 2,
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/digitization/111098ncjrs.pdf.
3

Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD), End of Month Population Report, July 31, 2018
(hereafter cited as PSD Monthly Population Report),
http://dps.hawaii.gov/about/divisions/corrections/.
4

World Prison Brief, Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR), Data for Sweden,
http://www.prisonstudies.org/country/sweden. In 2017, Sweden's population was 10.07 million
compared to Hawai‘i's population of 1.43 million. See World Bank Data, “Population Total
Sweden 2017,”
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL?end=2017&locations=SE&start=1981;
United States Census Bureau, Quick Facts Hawaii, “Hawaii population estimates, July 1, 2017,”
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/hi.
5

The incarceration rate is calculated by dividing the prison population by the general population
and multiplying by 100,000. As of July 31, 2018, Hawai‘i’s combined jail and prison population
was 5,570 (see note 3) and the estimated state population was 1.43 million. World Population
Review, Hawaii population 2018, http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/hawaii-population/.
6

Council of State Governments Justice Center, 50-State Data on Public Safety, Hawaii State
Workbook: Analyses to Inform Public Safety Strategies, March 2018), 60. The Council of State
Governments Justice Center notes that between 2005 and 2015 Hawai‘i’s prison population had
the sixth-largest decrease in the country, and that Hawai‘i’s incarceration rate is the thirty-ninth
highest in the country.
7

World Prison Brief, Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR), Highest to Lowest-Prison
Population Rate, Entire World, http://www.prisonstudies.org/highest-tolowest/prison_population_rate?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All.
8

Hawaii Paroling Authority, “2017 Annual Statistical Report,” Table III Total Parole Caseload,
https://dps.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2017-Annual-Report.pdf.
9

See Hawaii State Judiciary, “Hawaii State Judiciary 2017 Annual Report,” 55,
http://www.courts.state.hi.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2017_Judiciary_Annual_Report.pdf.

95

10

See National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, “Recidivism,” last modified
June 17, 2014, https://www.nij.gov/topics/corrections/recidivism/Pages/welcome.aspx.

11

National Institute of Justice, “Recidivism.”

12

Timothy Wong, “2017 Recidivism Update,” State of Hawaii Interagency Council on
Intermediate Sanctions (ICIS), July 2018, https://icis.hawaii.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2018/08/Hawaii-Revidivism-2017.pdf.
13

Wong, “Recidivism Update,” 3.

14

Wong, “Recidivism Update,” 4.

15

Wong, “Recidivism Update,” 4.

16

Wong, “Recidivism Update,” 21.

17

Wong, “Recidivism Update,” 16.

18

Wong, “Recidivism Update,” 17.

19

Wong, “Recidivism Update,” 18.

20

Lindsay Hixson, Bradford B. Hepler, and Myoung Ouk Kim, “The Native Hawaiian and Other
Pacific Islander Population: 2010” (Washington, D.C.: United States Census Bureau, May 2012),
19, https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-12.pdf. The 21.3% includes Native
Hawaiians alone and in any combination with other races.
21

Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD), System Wide End of Month Data, July 2018,
(hereafter cited as PSD System Wide Data). As of the end of July 2018, 36.96% of Hawai‘i’s
combined jail/prison population were Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians.
22

Justice Policy Institute, Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, and Georgetown Law,
The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System (Honolulu: Office
of Hawaiian Affairs, 2010), 17,
http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/1009_rep_disparatetreatmentofnativehawaiians_rd-ac.pdf.
23

Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force, The Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report, 2012,
14, http://lrbhawaii.info/reports/legrpts/oha/2013/act170_slh11.pdf. The report notes prior
studies that had been conducted on the impact of the criminal justice system on Native
Hawaiians. Among the many studies on this subject are: Study of Native Hawaiians in the
Criminal Justice System (Honolulu: Alu Like, 1977); Crime and Justice Related to Hawaiians
and Part-Hawaiians in the State of Hawai‘i (Honolulu: Alu Like, 1981); Criminal Justice and
Hawaiians in the 1990's: Ethnic Differences in Imprisonment Rates in the State of Hawai‘i
(Honolulu: Alu Like, 1994); Report of the Working Conference on Native Hawaiians in the
96

Criminal Justice System (Honolulu: Alu Like, 1994); Action plan regarding Native Hawaiians in
the criminal justice system: Presented to the Eighteenth Legislature, State of Hawai‘i (Honolulu:
Alu Like, 1995); and Hawaiian Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (Honolulu: Alu Like, 1998).
24

PSD Monthly Population Report, July 31, 2018. The Department of Public Safety publishes
the “design capacity” and “operational bed capacity” of each correctional facility in the State.
The “design capacity” is the number of prisoners the facility was designed to hold. The
“operational bed capacity” is the number of inmates that the Department has determined that the
facility can accommodate based on its staffing, programs, and services. (George King, PSD
statistician, email to Robert Merce, December 18, 2017). The Department of Public Safety also
publishes an end of month “head count” and “assigned count” for each facility. The head count
is the number of inmates at the facility when the head count is taken. The assigned count is the
number of inmates assigned to the facility. The head count is typically lower than the assigned
count because, for example, an inmate who is assigned to the facility may be hospitalized and
therefore absent from the head count. The Department of Public Safety measures overcrowding
by dividing the head count by the operational capacity, and we have used that method in this
report. We note, however, that this is a very conservative method since in some cases, the
operational capacity is significantly higher than the design capacity, and the head count is often
lower than the assigned count. For example, the Halawa Medium Security Facility (HMSF) has
a design capacity of 496, but an “operational bed capacity” of 992. Using the operational bed
capacity instead of the design capacity and the head count instead of the assigned count in most
cases will yield a lower overcrowding figure.
25

Comment by Nolan Espinda, Director of Public Safety, during tour of OCCC by House
Committee on Public Safety and HCR 85 Task Force members, November 17, 2015.
26

On January 6, 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Hawai‘i filed a Complaint
with the United States Department of Justice requesting an investigation of overcrowding and
other allegedly unconstitutional conditions at Hawai‘i’s prisons. See ACLU-Hawaii letter to
Vanita Gupta and Steven Rosenbaum, January 6, 2017,
https://acluhawaii.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/acluhidojcomplaintprisonovercrowding.pdf.
Among other things, the complaint alleges that Hawai‘i's correctional facilities continue to
"overtax virtually every constitutionally required support system and service and creates a
harmful and intolerable environment," rendering prison officials incapable of providing inmates
with adequate shelter, sanitation, medical and mental health care, food services, and protection
from harm. The complaint specifically alleges that conditions at Hawai‘i's prisons violate the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Civil Rights of
Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. §1997 et seq. The complaint requests the Department of
Justice to investigate the claims in the complaint, "order the State of Hawaii to cease its
unconstitutional policies and practices, and if necessary, take appropriate legal actions."
27

PSD System Wide Data, July 2018.

28

PSD System Wide Data, July 2018.

29

PSD System Wide Data, July 2018.
97

30

PSD System Wide Data, July 2018 (As of July 31, 2018, there were 661 inmates age 55 or
older in Hawai‘i’s correctional system).
31

Brie A. Williams, Rebecca L. Sudore, Robert Greifinger, and R. Sean Morrison, “Balancing
Punishment and Compassion for Seriously Ill Prisoners,” Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 155,
no. 2 (2011): 122-126.
32

Williams, “Balancing Punishment and Compassion,” 123.

33

131 Hawai‘i 239, 317 P.3d 683 (Haw. App. 2013). In 2013, former prisoner Gregory Slingluff
was awarded approximately $1 million for injuries he sustained when prison doctors failed to
diagnose and treat an infection of his scrotum.
34

For example, in 2016, former OCCC prisoner Aaron Persin settled his claims against the State
of Hawaii for approximately $7.2 million. The claims stemmed from a scratch he sustained at
OCCC which became infected and resulted in the loss of both hands and both feet. See Brent
Remadna, “State pays millions in settlement to amputee who lost limbs while in custody,”
KHON, January 26, 2016.
35

Letter from Nolan Espinda (PSD Director) to HCR 85 Task Force Chair Michael D. Wilson,
March 6, 2018, Attachment A.
36

Nolan Espinda, letter.

37

PSD Monthly Population Report, June 30, 2017.

38

See Leila Fujimori, “Prison questioned about inmate's suicide,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser,
August 6, 2017, and Rick Daysog, “Deceased inmate’s father calls for reform after rash of
Halawa suicides,” Hawaii News Now, September 28, 2018.
39

State of Hawaii Department of Budget and Finance, “Executive Biennium Budget, Fiscal
Biennium 2017-2019, Operating and Capital Budget-Department of Public Safety,”
https://budget.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/24.-Department-of-Public-Safety-FB1719-PFP.pdf.
State of Hawaii Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS), “Final
Environmental Impact Statement for the Replacement of the Oahu Community Correctional
Center, Expansion of Women's Community Correctional Center, and New Department of
Agriculture Animal Quarantine Station,” prepared by PBR Hawaii and Associations Inc. on
behalf of Architects Hawaii, Ltd. (June 26, 2018): 49 and 150, https://dps.hawaii.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2018/07/2018-07-08-OA-FEIS-Replacement-of-Oahu-Community-CorrectionalCenter.pdf.
40

41

DAGS, Final EIS for Replacement of OCCC, 49.

98

42

Hawaii Department of Public Safety, Pre-Assessent Consultations-New MediumSecurity
Housing Units at Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Community Correctional Centers, July 30, 2017,
https://dps.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/PreAssess-Consultations-Neighbor-IslandCCC-Housing-7-30-18.pdf
43

Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Ebert, Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, EnglishHawaiian (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986), 21.

44

All of the proverbs are from Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘Ōlelo No‘eau, Hawaiian Proverbs &
Poetical Sayings, Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publication No. 71 (Honolulu: Bishop
Museum Press, 1983).
45

Pukui, Hawaiian Dictionary, 358.

46

Pukui, Hawaiian Dictionary, 341.

47

Richard Kekumuikawaiokeola Paglinawan and Lynette Kahikili Paglinawan, “Living
Hawaiian Rituals: Lua, Ho‘oponopono, and Social Work,” Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on
Hawaiian Well-Being, vol. 8 (Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools, 2012), 11-28.
48

Haw. Rev. Stat. §5-7.5(a).

49

Haw. Rev. Stat. §5-7.5 (a).

50

Ragnar Kristoffersen, “Relapse study in the correctional services of the Nordic countries. Key
results and perspectives,” EuroVisa, vol. 2, no. 3 (2013), 169,
https://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/160435/EuroVista-vol2-no3-6Kristofferson-edit.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y.
51

World Prison Brief, Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR), Data for Norway,
http://www.prisonstudies.org/country/norway. The incarceration rate is based on an estimated
national population of 5.32 million at the end of September 2018.
52

Anita Hurlburt, a student at the University of Hawai‘i’s William S. Richardson School of Law,
has written an excellent senior thesis on how the humane, evidence-based rehabilitaiton
principles of the Norwegian correctional system can be applied in Hawai‘i. See Anita H. S.
Hurlburt, “Building Constructive Prison Reform on Norway’s Five Pillars, Cemented with
Aloha,” Asian-Pac. L. & Pol’y J., vol. 19, issue 2 (May 14, 2018),
http://blog.hawaii.edu/aplpj/files/2018/04/APLPJ_19.2_Hurlburt.pdf.
53

Christopher Moraff, “Can Europe Offer the U.S. a Model for Prison Reform?” Next City,
June 19, 2014 (emphasis added), https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/us-prisons-reform-europeanprisons-model. See also Doran Larson, “Why Scandinavian Prisons Are Superior,” The Atlantic,
September 24, 2013; Editorial Board, “Lessons From European Prisons,” New York Times,
November 7, 2013.

99

54

During a tour of the Waiawa Correctional Facility on January 12, 2017, Acting Warden Sean
Ornellas told Task Force members that one of the aims of the facility is to “deinstitutionalize”
prisoners who have been incarcerated in Arizona and at the Halawa Correctional Facility.
55

Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police, Punishment that works – less crime – a safer
society, English Summary, Report to the Storting on the Norwegian Correctional Services,
(October 2008).
56

Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police, Punishment that works.

57

“Fact Sheet on the Correctional Services in Norway,” U.S.-European Criminal Justice
Innovation Program, October 2015.
58

Are Høidal, “Values and Principles For the Norwegian Correctional Service,” slide show
presentation to U.S.-European Criminal Justice Innovation Program, October 5, 2015.
59

Høidal, “Values and Principles.”

60

Høidal, “Values and Principles.”

61

Høidal, “Values and Principles.”

62

Rebecca Silber, Ram Subramanian, and Maia Spotts, “Justice In Review: New Trends in State
Sentencing and Corrections 2014-2015,” Vera Institute of Justice, (Washington, D.C.: May
2016), https://www.vera.org/publications/justice-in-review-new-trends-in-state-sentencing-andcorrections-2014-2015.
Dennis Schrantz, Stephen T. DeBor, and Marc Mauer, “Decarceration Strategies: How 5 States
Achieved Substantial Prison Population Reductions,” The Sentencing Project (Washington,
D.C.: September 2018), https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/decarceration-strategies5-states-achieved-substantial-prison-population-reductions/.
63

64

Council of State Governments Justice Center, “In Brief: Understanding Risk and Needs
Assessment,” https://csgjusticecenter.org/jr/in-brief-understanding-risk-and-needs-assessment/.
“Risk and needs assessments” refers to an actuarial evaluation to guide decision making at
various points across the criminal justice continuum by approximating a person’s likelihood of
reoffending and determining what individual criminogenic needs must be addressed to reduce
that likelihood.
65

The North Dakota correctional system has been the focus of national attention and widely
covered in the media. See e.g., Andrew Hazzard, “Focus On Reform: North Dakota Uses
Education, Work to Prepare Prisoners For Re-entry,” Bismark Tribune, October 14, 2017,
https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/focus-on-reform-north-dakota-useseducation-work-to-prepare/article_2d8fc7a3-0f28-5222-a1b9-f7b3b22a9be4.html; Dashka Slater,
“Prison Break: Can Norway-style prisons work in America? That’s what North Dakota is trying
to figure out,” Mother Jones, July/August 2017, http://prisonlaw.com/wp100

content/uploads/2017/06/pbarticlewithout-co80.pdf; Fareed Zakaria, “Last Look: North
Dakota’s prison reform,” CNN, August 6, 2017, https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2017/08/07/expgps-0806-last-look-north-dakota-prisons.cnn; David Kidd, “Tender Justice: North Dakota is
conducting a prison experiment unlike anything else in the United States,” Governing, August
2018, http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/gov-north-dakota-prison-criminaljustice-reform.html. See also Prison Law Office, European-American Prison Project,
http://prisonlaw.com/european-prison-project/ bismark%20tribunehttp://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/focus-on-reform-northdakota-uses-education-work-to-prepare/article_2d8fc7a3-0f28-5222-a1b9-f7b3b22a9be4.html
http://prisonlaw.com/european-prison-project/.
66

After the death of Kamehameha I in 1819, a battle of the old versus the new ensued at
Kuamoʻo on the Kona coast, just South of Keauhou Bay. On one side was Chief Kekuaokalani,
Kamehameha I’s favorite nephew, who wished to preserve the traditional Hawaiian religion and
kapu. On the other were forces loyal to Prince Liholiho, heir to the throne who, along with
Queen Kaʻahumanu, had disregarded the kapu and declared the old ways dead. When
Kekuaokalani’s wife, Chiefess Manono, saw her husband fall in battle, she picked up his spear
and carried on the fight, chanting Mālama kō aloha, which means “keep your Aloha [no matter
what the obstacles].” She died with her husband and hundreds of other warriors on the lava
fields of Kuamoʻo, but her admonition to all Hawaiians lives on. The phrase Mālama kō aloha is
used in this report with the permission of Chiefess Manono’s descendants, including the ʻohana
of renowned Hawaiian cultural practitioner Winona Beamer.
67

Sandra Bishop-Josef, William Christeson, Natasha O’Dell Archer, Chris Beakey, and Kara
Clifford, “I’m the Guy You Pay Later, Sheriffs, Chiefs and Prosecutors Urge America to Cut
Crime by Investing Now in High-Quality Early Education and Care,” Fight Crime, Invest in
Kids, (2013), http://www11.maine.gov/doe/sites/maine.gov.doe/files/inline-files/ME-Im-theGuy-Report%5B1%5D.pdf.
68

Peter W. Greenwood, “Prevention and Intervention Programs for Juvenile Offenders,” The
Future of Children, vol. 18, no. 2 (September 2008): 185,
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49852121_Prevention_and_Intervention_Programs_for
_Juvenile_Offenders.
69

As we have previously noted, the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal
justice system has been the subject of studies, reports, action plans, conferences and task force
reports for the last 35 plus years (see note 23).
70

Kristin Turney, “Stress Proliferation Across Generations? Examining the Relationship
Between Parental Incarceration and Childhood Health,” Journal of Health and Social Behavior,
vol. 55, no. 3 (2014): 302. See also Tierney Sneed, “How Mass Incarceration Hurts Children,”
U.S. News and World Report, August 16, 2014,
https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/08/15/study-children-pay-the-price-of-a-parentsincarceration-with-their-health.

101

71

Minnesota Department of Corrections, “The Effects of Prison Visitation on Offender
Recidivism” (St. Paul: November 2011), https://mn.gov/doc/assets/1111MNPrisonVisitationStudy_tcm1089-272781.pdf.
72

The Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police refers to the normality principle as “the
lodestar for penal implementation policy,” Norwegian Ministry of Justice, Punishment that
works, 6 (see note 55).
73

Ole Stageberg, “Dynamic Security, Four Forms of Offender Rehabilitation: Towards an
Interdisciplinary Model,” Latvia Final Conference (December 14, 2016),
http://www.probacija.lv/upload/norway_grants/LV08_prezentacijas/Ole_Stageberg_Dynamic_se
curity.pdf.
74

European Prison Rules, Rec(2006)2, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on January 11,
2006, at the 952nd of the Ministers’ Deputies, https://rm.coe.int/european-prison-rules-978-92871-5982-3/16806ab9ae.
75

David Stannard, Before the Horror: The Population of Hawai‘i on the Eve of Western Contact
(Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1989). See also John Heckathorn, “Interview: David
Stannard,” Honolulu Magazine, 1989,
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~johnb/micro/m130/readings/stannard.html. Stannard argues that
Hawai‘i had a population of between 800,000 and 1,000,000 prior to the arrival of Captain Cook
in 1778, half of whom were dead 25 years later from syphilis, tuberculosis, and other diseases
they contracted from Cook’s crewmembers. A century later, due to subsequent epidemics, there
were less than 50,000 Native Hawaiians in the islands. David Swanson, a professor at the
University of California at Riverside, has calculated a lower pre-contact population (683,000),
but estimates that 1 in 7 Hawaiians died within two years of Cook's arrival. According to
Swanson, by 1800, the native population had declined by 48%; by 1820, it had declined 71%;
and by 1840, it had declined 84%. See Sara Kehaulani Goo, “After 200 years, Native Hawaiians
make a comeback,” Pew Research Center, April 6, 2015, http://www.pewresearch.org/facttank/2015/04/06/native-hawaiian-population/.
76

Gavan Daws, Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands (Honolulu: University of
Hawaii Press 1974).
77

Paul Lucas, “E Ola Mau Kākou I Ka ‘Ōlelo Makua: Hawaiian Language Policy and the
Courts,” The Hawaiian Journal of History, 24 (2000).
78

Ralph Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 1, 1778-1854 (Honolulu: University of
Hawai‘i Press 1938), 116 (“By 1840, Hawaii was officially a Christian nation”).
79

See e.g. Jane Silverman, “Imposition of a Western Judicial System in the Hawaiian
Monarchy,” Hawaiian Journal, vol. 16 (1982),
https://evols.library.manoa.Hawai‘i.edu/handle/10524/197.

102

80

Ralph Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 1874-1893 (Honolulu: University of
Hawai‘i Press, 1938), 347-372. The Constitution of 1887 was called the “Bayonet Constitution”
because of the way it was brought into existence. According to Kuykendall, the Constitution
reduced the Hawaiians to a position of apparent and, for a while, actual inferiority in the political
life of the country and was a “drastic reduction of the powers of the [Hawaiian] sovereign.”

81

Kuykendall, Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 1, 287-298. See also Jocelyn Garovoy, “‘Ua Koe Ke
Kuleana O Na Kanaka‘: Integrating Kuleana Rights and Land Trust Priorities in Hawai‘i,” 29.2
Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. (2005): 523-571.
82

Kuykendall, Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3: 582-647. See also Liliuokalani, Hawai‘i’s Story by
Hawai‘i’s Queen, annotated ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press 2014).
83

Justice Policy Institute, Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians, 17.

84

Justice Policy Institute, Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians 11.

85

Justice Policy Institute, Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians 10-16.

86

Justice Policy Institute, Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians, 11-12.

87

Justice Policy Institute, Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians, 65-67.

88

Act 170, Session Laws of Hawaii 2011.

89

Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report.

90

Corrections Corporation of America, “Correspondence Procedures for Saguaro Correctional
Center, Section G (1) (g), February 1, 2010.” See also Complaint, Arthur Vinhaca v. The
Department of Public Safety, et. al., Civil No. 16-1-1063, First Cir. Court, State of Hawai‘i, filed
June 2, 2016 (recently settled to allow correspondance in the Hawaiian language).
91

Haw. Const. art. I, §4, and Haw. Rev. Stat. § 1-3.

92

Justice Policy Institute, Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians, 10 (emphasis added).

93

Karen Umemoto, James Spencer, Tai-An Miao and Saiful Momen, Disproportionate Minority
Contact in the Hawai‘i Juvenile Justice System 2000-2010, Final Report, prepared for the
Juvenile Justice Advisory Council and the State of Hawaii Office of Youth Services (Honolulu:
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of Urban and Regional Planning, June 2012): 19,
https://humanservices.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/DMC-FINAL-REPORT-2012for-printing.pdf.
94

Umemoto, Disproportionate Minority Contact, 19.

95

Umemoto, Disproportionate Minority Contact, 39.
103

96

Umemoto, Disproportionate Minority Contact, 104.

97

Umemoto, Disproportionate Minority Contact, 105-118.

98

See Chapter 9 for a more detailed discussion of the treatment courts.

99

Jo Thakker, “Cultural factors in offender treatment: Current approaches in New Zealand,”
Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 113 (2014): 221, https://ac.elscdn.com/S1877042814000299/1-s2.0-S1877042814000299-main.pdf?_tid=e80ecb5b-0f01-46fe9b02-2cb2b1815b00&acdnat=1539530570_1032ef63099f67a0cac076457413e2fa.
100

Victoria Hovane, Tania Dalton (Jones) and Peter Smith, “Aboriginal Offender Rehabilitation
Programs,” in Pat Dudgeon, Helen Milroy and Roz Walker (eds.), Working Together: Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice (Commonwealth
of Australia: 2014): 509,
https://www.telethonkids.org.au/globalassets/media/documents/aboriginal-health/workingtogether-second-edition/wt-part-6-chapt-30-final.pdf.
101

With respect to the use of traditional Hawaiian cultural practices, see Lezlie Kī‘aha,
“Thinking Outside the Bars: Using Hawaiian Traditions and Culturally-Based Healing to
Elimnate Racial Disparities Within Hawai‘iʻs Criminal Justice System,” Asian-Pac. L. & Pol’y
J., vol. 17, issue 2 (October 27, 2016),
http://blog.hawaii.edu/aplpj/files/2016/10/APLPJ_17.2_Kiaha_Final_LK.pdf.
102

Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report, 17 n.1.

103

Michele Deitch and Michael B. Mushlin, “Let the Sunshine In: The ABA and Prison
Oversight,” in Myrna Raeder (ed.), The State of Criminal Justice (Washington, D.C.: American
Bar Association, (2011): 243, http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/983/.
104

Anthony M. Kennedy, “Speech at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting,” (speech,
San Francisco, CA, April 9, 2003), United States Supreme Court
https://www.supremecourt.gov/publicinfo/speeches/viewspeech/sp_08-09-03.
105

O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354 (1987) (Brennan, J, dissenting).

106

Michele Deitch, “The Need for Independent Prison Oversight in a Post-PLRA World,”
Federal Sentencing Reporter, vol. 24, no. 4, (April 2012): 236–244.
107

Wolff v. McDonald, 418 U.S. 539, 555-56 (1974).

108

Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, codified at 42 U.S.C. §1997e.

109

Michael Mushlin and Michele Deitch, “Opening Up a Closed World: What Constitutes
Effective Prison Oversight?” 30 Pace L. Rev. 1383 (2010): 1384
https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/.
104

110

Mushlin, “Opening Up a Closed World,” 1386.

111

American Bar Association, “Report to the House of Delegates, American Bar Association,
Criminal Justice Section, Recommendation” (August 2008),
https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/criminal_justice_section_newsletter/cr
imjust_policy_am08104b.authcheckdam.pdf.
112

American Bar Association, ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, Third Edition, Treatment of
Prisoners, project of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Standards Committee
(Washington, D.C.: June 2011).
113

American Bar Association, ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, 352.

114

Michele Deitch, “Special Populations and the Importance of Prison Oversight,” American
Journal of Criminal Law, vol. 37, no. 3 (2010): 291.
115

Deitsch, Special Populations, 301-302.

116

State of Hawaii, Office of the Ombudsman, Report of the Ombudsman for the Period July 1,
2015 – June 30, 2016, Report No. 47 (March 2017): Table 6, https://ombudsman.hawaii.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2013/08/Report-47-for-Internet2.pdf.
117

Ombudsman, Report 47, Table 6.

118

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 96-9(b).

119

Jobeth Devera, “Assault of guards at OCCC highlights unsafe conditions for staff,” Hawaii
News Now, October 1, 2017, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/36496076/lockdown-liftedafter-occc-inmates-assault-guards.
120

Letter, Mateo Caballero, Legal Director, Hawai‘i ACLU Foundation, to Vanita Gupta,
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of
Justice, and Steven Rosenbaum, Chief, Special Litigation Section, Civil Rights Division, United
States Department of Justice, January 6, 2017,
https://acluhawaii.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/1-6-17-doj-complaint-prison-overcrowding2.pdf.
121

Kevin Dayton, “Staff abuse outnumbers inmates’ for second year,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser,
February 26, 2017, https://www.pressreader.com/usa/honolulu-staradvertiser/20170226/281487866125775.
122

Leila Fujimori, “Lawsuit alleges sexual assault, harassment, at women’s prison,” Honolulu
Star-Advertiser, March 31, 2017, https://www.pressreader.com/usa/honolulu-staradvertiser/20170331/281848643443680.
123

Associated Press, “Jury finds former Maui prison guard guilty of sexual assault,” Honolulu
Star-Advertiser, updated July 16, 2017, 8:05 pm,
105

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/07/16/breaking-news/jury-finds-former-maui-prison-guardguilty-of-sexual-assault/.
124

Letter, Nolan Espinda to Michael Wilson (see note 35).

125

Hawaii Department of Public Safety, “Report to the 2015 Legislature, Act 149 (SLH 2014),
Reentry Project for Non-violent, Low Risk Drug Offenders,” Department of Public Safety
Corrections Programs Services, November 2014, https://dps.hawaii.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2015/02/Act-149-Reentry-Pilot-Project_2014_FINAL.pdf.
126

Hawaii Department of Public Safety, “Report to the 2016 Legislature, Act 149 (SLH 2014),
Reentry Project for Non-violent, Low Risk Drug Offenders, Department of Public Safety
Corrections Programs Services, December 2015, https://dps.hawaii.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2015/12/5-Act-149-SLH-2014-Reentry-Pilot-Project.pdf.
127

National Institute of Justice, “Offender Reentry,” February 25, 2015,
https://www.nij.gov/topics/corrections/reentry/Pages/welcome.aspx.
128

Pub. L. 110-199, codified at 42 U.S.C. §17531.

129

Bree Derrick, “Hawaii’s Public Safety Forum” PowerPoint presentation to the HCR 85 Task
Force, July 16, 2018.
130

Derrick, “Hawaii’s Public Safety Forum.”

131

Lois M. Davis, Jennifer L. Steele, Robert Bozick, Malcolm V. Williams, Susan Turner,
Jeremy N. V. Miles, Jessica Saunders, and Paul S. Steinberg, How Effective Is Correctional
Education, and Where Do We Go From Here? The Results of a Comprehensive Evaluation,
(Santa Monica: The Rand Corporation, 2014): xiii.
132

Davis, How Effective is Correctional Education, xiii.

133

Meeting, Robert Merce, Suzanne Skjold, and members of the PSD educational staff, March 7,
2016. See also DAGS, Final EIS for Replacement of OCCC, Vol. 1, Appendix A-F, 109.
134

Davis, How Effective Is Correctional Education, xiii.

135

Davis, How Effective Is Correctional Education, 78.

136

Davis, How Effective Is Correctional Education, 18 (emphasis in original).

137

National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A ResearchBased Guide (Third Edition), Principles of Effective Treatment,” updated January, 2018,
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-basedguide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment.

106

138

National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Principles of Effective Treatment.”

139

Christian Henrichson and Ruth Delany, “The Price of Prisons, What Incarceration Costs
Taxpayers” (Washington, D.C.: Vera Institute of Justice, January 2012), 6,
http://archive.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/price-of-prisons-updated-version021914.pdf.
140

Bruce Western and Becky Pettit, “Collateral Costs: Incarceration's Effect on Economic
Mobility” (Washington, D.C.: The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010),
http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2010/collateralcosts1pdf.pdf.
141

The White House, Economic Perspectives on Incarceration and the Criminal Justice System,
(Washington D.C.: April 2016), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-pressoffice/2016/04/23/cea-report-economic-perspectives-incarceration-and-criminal-justice.
142

See generally, Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) website at
http://www.wsipp.wa.gov.
143

See generally, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) website at
https://www.pccd.pa.gov/Pages/Default.aspx.
144

Amy L. Solomon, Jenny W.L. Osborne, Stefan F LoBuglio, Jeff Mellow, and Debbie A.
Mukamal, “Life After Lockup, Improving Reentry From Jail to the Community,” Urban Institute
Justice Policy Center (Washington, D.C.: May 2008): xv,
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/220095.pdf.
145

Solomon, “Life After Lockup,” xv.

146

Act 24, Special Session Laws of Hawaii 2009.

147

Act 15, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015.

148

United States Department of Justice, "Roadmap to Reentry, Reducing Recidivism Through
Reentry Reforms at the Federal Bureau of Prisons," April 19, 2017,
https://www.justice.gov/archives/reentry/roadmap-reentry.
149

National Association of Drug Court Professionals, “Justice For All: National Drug Court
Month May 2018,” https://www.nadcp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/National-Drug-CourtMonth-Field-Kit-2018_final.pdf. See also Douglas Marlowe, “Need To Know, Research Update
on Family Drug Courts,” National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), May
2012, https://www.nadcp.org/wpcontent/uploads/Reseach%20Update%20on%20Family%20Drug%20Courts%20%20NADCP.pdf.
150

Council of State Governments Justice Center, “Mental Health Courts: A Primer for
Policymakers and Practitioners,” prepared for the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice
107

Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (2008): 3, https://csgjusticecenter.org/wpcontent/uploads/2012/12/mhc-primer.pdf.
151

Chapter 10 was drafted by Kathleen Algire and the staff of YWCA-Hawai‘i, which operates
the Fernhurst work furlough program for women in Makiki. The Task Force gratefully
acknowledges their contribution.
152

PSD Monthly Population Report, July 31, 2018 (assigned count).

153

Stephanie S. Covington and Barbara E. Bloom, “Gender-Responsive Treatment and Services
in Correctional Settings,” Women and Therapy, vol. 29, no. 3/4 (2006): 9. See also Marilyn
Brown, “Gender, Ethnicity, and Offending Over the Life Course: Women’s Pathways to Prison
in the Aloha State,” Critical Criminology, vol. 14, no. 2 (2006): 137.
154

Barbara Bloom, Barbara Owen, and Stephanie Covington, “A Theoretical Basis for GenderResponsive Strategies in Criminal Justice,” paper presented at the American Society of
Criminology Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, 2002.
155

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Trauma-Informed
Approach and Trauma-Specific Interventions,” last updated March 27, 2018,
https://www.samhsa.gov/nctic/trauma-interventions.
156

Corey Adler, “Running it Hard: Managing Social Relationships Amongst Women
Incarcerated in Hawai‘i,” (PhD diss., University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2016), 150
https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/51581/1/2016-12-phd-adler.pdf.
157

Adler, “Running it Hard,” 121.

158

Brown, “Gender, Ethnicity, and Offending Over the Life Course,” 138 (see note 153).

159

Patrick Doyle, Camille Fordy, and Aaron Haight, Prison Video Conferencing, (Burlington:
University of Vermont, May 15, 2011): 6,
https://www.uvm.edu/~vlrs/CriminalJusticeandCorrections/prison%20video%20conferencing.pd
f.
160

Lorie S. Goshin, Mary W Byrne, and Alma M. Henninger, “Recidivism After Release From
A Prison Nursery Program,” Public Health Nursing, vol. 31, no. 2 (March 2014): 109; Seham
Elmalak, “Babies Behind Bars: An Evaluation of Prison Nurseries in American Female Prisons
and their Potential Constitutional Challenges,” Pace Law Review, vol. 35, no. 3 (2015): 1080.

161

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Social Determinants of Health,
https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health.
162

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Adverse
Childhood Experiences,” last updated July 9, 2018, https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/practicingeffective-prevention/prevention-behavioral-health/adverse-childhood-experiences.
108

163

Lee Y. Stein, “The Psychosocial Needs of Hawaiian Women Incarcerated for Drug-Related
Crimes,” Journal of Social Work Practice in Addictions, vol. 1, issue 6, (2001): 47.

164

Pamela Valera, Laura Brotzman, Woodrow Wilson, and Andera Reid, “It’s hard to reenter
when you’ve been locked out: Keys to offender reintegration,” Journal of Offender
Rehabilitation, vol. 56, no. 6 (2017): 412; Christy A. Visher, Pamela Lattimore, Kelle K.
Barrick, and Stephen Tueller, “Evaluating the Long-Term Effects of Prisoner Reentry Services
on Recidivism: What Types of Services Matter?” Justice Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 1 (2017): 136.

165

David T. Johnson, Janet T. Davidson, and Paul Perrone, “Hawaiiʻs Imprisonment Policy and
the Performance of Parolees Who Were Incarcerated In-State and on the Mainland,” Department
of Sociology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and Department of the Attorney General, State of
Hawai‘i, (January 2011), https://ag.hawaii.gov/cpja/files/2013/01/AH-UH-Mainland-PrisonStudy-2011.pdf
166

John Chesley Burruss, “A Matter of Degree: Punishment, Private Prisons, And Law In
Hawai‘i,” (Master’s thesis, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, August 2012), 6-7.
167

Burruss, “A Matter of Degree,” 6.

168

PSD Monthly Population Report, July 2018.

169

Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Prisoners in 2016,” by E. Ann Carson, NCJ 251149
(Washington, D.C.: January 2018, revised August 7, 2018): 14,
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p16.pdf.
170

George King (PSD statistician) email to Robert Merce, March 2, 2018 and Hawaii
Department of Public Safety Annual Report, FY 2018, 16.

171

Johnson, “Hawaii’s Imprisonment Policy,” 9 (see note 165).

172

Johnson, “Hawaii’s Imprisonment Policy,” 9.

173

Johnson, “Hawaii’s Imprisonment Policy,” 23-26.

174

Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report, 8.

175

461 U.S. 238 (1983).

176

Olim, 461 U.S. at 252 (Marshall, J. dissenting).

177

Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report, 22 n.23 (see note 23).

178

Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report, 29.

179

Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report, 29.
109

180

Samara Freemark, “Rewriting the Sentence: College behind bars: Keeping an idea alive,”
American Public Media, September 8, 2017,
https://www.apmreports.org/story/2016/09/08/prison-education.
181

Allie Bidwell, “Report: Prison Education Programs Could Save Money,” U.S. News & World
Report, August 22, 2013, http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/08/22/report-prisoneducation-programs-could-save-money.

182

Audrey Bazos and Jessica Hausman, Correctional Education as a Crime Control Program,
(Los Angeles: UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, 2004),
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nvya4pyz18mz4w5/CorrEdVsMorePrisons.pdf

183

S. 2423, 115th Cong. (2018).

184

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, “Schatz Introduces Legislation to Restore Educational
Opportunities for Those Incarcerated and Improve Public Safety,” February 14, 2018,
https://www.schatz.senate.gov/press-releases/schatz-introduces-legislation-to-restoreeducational-opportunities-for-those-incarcerated-and-improve-public-safety.

185

S. 3588, 115th Cong. (2018)

186

U.S. Department of Justice, “Prison Reform: Reducing Recidivism by Strengthening the
Federal Bureau of Prisons,” 2016, https://www.justice.gov/archives/prison-reform#_ftn1.
187

S. 3435, 115th Cong. (2018). See also U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, “Schatz Introduces New
Legislation to Encourage Colleges to Remove Criminal and Juvenile Record Questions from
Admissions Applications,” September 13, 2018, https://www.schatz.senate.gov/pressreleases/schatz-introduces-new-legislation-to-encourage-colleges-to-remove-criminal-andjuvenile-record-questions-from-admissions-applications.
188

S. 2472, 115th Cong. (2018).

189

S. 3649, 115th Cong. (2018).

190

Pub. L. No. 108-79, 42 U.S.C. §15601 et seq.

191

Hawaii Department of Public Safety, “Future of the Oahu Community Correctional Center,
Vol. 14 – WCCC Expansion Planning Underway,” August, 2017.
192

Pre-Assessent Consultations-New MediumSecurity Housing Units (see note 42).

193

DAGS, Final EIS for Replacement of OCCC, 15 and 49 (see note 40).

194

The calculation is based on pretrial felony and misdemeanor data contained in PSD’s End of
Month Population Reports

110

195

DAGS, Final EIS for Replacement of OCCC, 26.

196

DAGS, Final EIS for Replacement of OCCC, 26.

197

DAGS, Final EIS for Replacement of OCCC, 27.

198

DAGS, Final EIS for Replacement of OCCC, 26.

199

PSD Monthly Population Report, November 30, 2018.

200

Department of Public Safety, “Future of the Oahu Community Correctional Facility, Who is
Housed in OCCC?,” April 2017, https://dps.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/HawaiiOCCC_newsletter_vol10_v9-final-4-6-17.pdf.
201

Department of Public Safety, “Future of the Oahu Community Correctional Center, More
Frequently Asked Questions,” May 19, 2017, https://dps.hawaii.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2017/05/OCCC_May_FAQ_Online.pdf.
202

Allyson Blair, “Most Oahu arrests involve those with drug addictions, mental illness,” Hawaii
News Now, November 15, 2016, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/33719849/majority-ofOahu-arrests-involve-those-with-mental-illness-drug-addiction.
203

Blair, Most Oahu arrests involve those with drug addictions.

204

Department of Public Safety, “More Frequently Asked Questions,” 3.

205

Department of Public Safety, “More Frequently Asked Questions,” 3.

206

Department of Public Safety, “More Frequently Asked Questions,” 4.

207

Department of Public Safety, “More Frequently Asked Questions,” 4.

208

Department of Public Safety, “More Frequently Asked Questions,” 4.

209

“MacArthur Launches $75M Initiative to Reduce America’s Use of Jails,” Press Release: The
MacArthur Foundation, February 10, 2018, https://www.macfound.org/press/pressreleases/macarthur-launches-75m-initiative-reduce-americas-use-jails/.
210

“20 Diverse Communities Receive MacArthur Support to Reduce Jail Populations, Improve
Local Systems, and Model Reforms for the Nation,” Press Release: The MacArthur Foundation,
April 12, 2016, https://www.macfound.org/press/press-releases/20-diverse-communities-receivemacarthur-support-reduce-jail-populations-improve-local-systems-and-model-reforms-nation/.
211

Lindsey Cramer and Cybele Kotonias, Reducing Reliance on Local Jails (Washington, D.C.:
The Urban Institute, February 2014): 2, http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wp-

111

content/uploads/2015/05/Reducing-Reliance-Local-Jails_Urban_Commmissioned_2014.pdf
(emphasis added).
212

Department of Accounting and General Services, and Department of Public Safety, “Progress
Report to the Hawaii State Legislature, Planning for the Future of the Oahu Community
Correctional Center,” February 1, 2017, 1, https://dps.hawaii.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2017/02/OCCC-Prog-Report-1_Report.pdf.
213

House Concurrent Resolution 85 Task Force, “Interim Report of the HCR 85 Task Force (On
Effective Incarceration Policies and Improving Hawai‘i’s Correctional System) to the Legislature
for the Regular Session 2017,” February 2017, http://www.courts.state.hi.us/wpcontent/uploads/2016/07/HCR_85_TASK_FORCE_INTERIM_REPORT.pdf.
214

Ken Ricci and Laura Maiello, “A Systematic Approach to Sustainability” (New York:
GLC/Ricci Greene Associates, 2007)
https://riccigreene.com/content/pub_attachment/article_23_Thu_2012.pdf (emphasis added).
215

James R. Robertson, Jail Planning and Expansion, Local Officials and Their Roles, Second
Edition (Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Corrections, 2010): 15,
https://info.nicic.gov/nicrp/system/files/022668.pdf.
216

Justice System Partners, “10 Steps To System Change,” prepared for the MacArthur
Safety+Justice Challenge, (August 2010): 1-3, http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wpcontent/uploads/2015/08/10-Steps-To-System-Change_JSP-Brief.pdf.
217

Justice Management Institute, “From Silo to System: What Makes a Justice System Operate
Like a System,” prepared for the MacArthur Foundation, (April 30, 2015): 7,
http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/From-Silo-to-System-30APR-2015_FINAL.pdf.
218

Ken Ricci interviewed by Alice Hagen, August 26, 2008.

219

PSD System Wide Data, July 2018.

220

Angela Hawken and Mark Kleiman, “Managing Drug Involved Probationers with Swift and
Certain Sanctions: Evaluating Hawaii’s HOPE,” National Institute of Justice (Washington, D.C.:
2009), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/229023.pdf.
221

Hawken, “Managing Drug Involved Probationers,” 4.

222

Francis Cullen, Travis Pratt, and Jillian Turanovic, “The Failure of Swift, Certain, and Fair
Supervision: Choosing A More Hopeful Future,” Perspectives (American Probation and Parole
Association), vol. 41, no. 3 (Spring 2017): 66-78,
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320191469_The_Failure_of_Swift_Certain_and_Fair_
Supervision_Choosing_a_More_Hopeful_Future.

112

223

Cullen, “The Failure of Swift, Certain, and Fair,” 67-68.

224

Cullen, “The Failure of Swift, Certain, and Fair,” 70.

225

Cullen, “The Failure of Swift, Certain, and Fair,” 71.

226

Cullen, “The Failure of Swift, Certain, and Fair,” 71.

227

Cullen, “The Failure of Swift, Certain, and Fair,” 72, citing P.K. Lattimore, et al., “Outcome
Findings from the HOPE Demonstration Field Experiment: Is Swift, Certain, and Fair an
Effective Supervision Strategy?,” Criminology and Public Policy, vol. 15, no. 4 (2016): 1103.
228

PSD/HCR 85 Prisoner Data for OCCC Only, April, 2018.

229

Susan E. Collins, Heather S. Lonczak, and Seema L. Clifasefi, LEAD Program Evaluation:
Recidivism Report,” (Seatte: University of Washington-Harborview Medical Center, March 27,
2015),
http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/1185392/26121870/1428513375150/LEAD_EVALUATION
_4-7-15.pdf?token=%2Bi5gSTSMLYUHROzVNP24kWLcKUU%3D.
230

Seema Clifasefi, Heather Lonczak, and Susan Collins, LEAD Program Evaluation: The
Impact of LEAD on Housing, Employment and Income/Benefits (Seattle: University of
Washington-Harborview Medical Center, March 31, 2016),
http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/1185392/27047605/1464389327667/housing_employment_e
valuation_final.PDF?token=8NZ6qBZXtM1rfoxDAfSIADxr7LI%3D.
231

LEAD National Support Bureau, LEAD: Advancing Criminal Justice Reform in 2018,
https://www.leadbureau.org.
232

Department of Public Safety, “More Frequently Asked Questions,” 3.

233

Marshall Clement, Andy Barbee, and Robert Coombs, “Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii,
Analyses and Policy Framework” (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center,
January 17, 2012): 7-8, https://csgjusticecenter.org/wpcontent/uploads/2012/12/JR_HI_Policy_Rollout_Handout.pdf.
234

Clement, “Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii,” 7.

235

Council of State Governments Justice Center, Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii, Analysis and
Policy JRI Analysis and Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections and Reinvest in
Strategies to Increase Public Safety (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center,
August 2014): 7.
236

See sections 2, 3, and 14 of Act 139, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, as amended by section 2
of Act 67, Session Laws of Hawaii 2013, as amended by section 69 of Act 231, Session Laws of
Hawaii 2016, as amended by section 2 of Act 77, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017.
113

237

Ram Subramanian, Ruth Delaney, Stephen Roberts, Nancy Fishman, Peggy McGarry,
Incarceration’s Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America (New York: Vera Institute of
Justice, 2015), http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wpcontent/uploads/2015/01/incarcerations-front-door-report.pdf.
238

George King (PSD statistician) email to Robert Merce, November 30, 2017. “‘Sentenced
felony probationers’ are felons who have been sentenced to a 12- to 18-month jail term followed
by probation, rather than to an open prison term.”
239

Jamie Fellner, “Prisons No Place For the Mentally Ill,” Human Rights Watch, February 12,
2004, https://www.hrw.org/news/2004/02/12/prisons-no-place-mentally-ill. See also Alisa Roth,
Insane, Americaʻs Crimial Treatment of Mental Illness (New York: Basic Books, 2018).
240

Letter, Wan J. Kim, Assistant U.S. Attorney General to Hon. Linda Lingle, Governor, State of
Hawai‘i, March 14, 2007,
https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2010/12/15/oahu_center_findlet_3-1407.pdf.
241

Subramanian, Incarceration's Front Door, 12 (see note 230).

242

Subramanian, Incarceration's Front Door, 12.

243

Department of Public Safety, “More Frequently Asked Questions,” 4 (see note 201).

244

Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, A
More Just New York City (New York: 2017): 81,
http://www.ncsc.org/~/media/C056A0513F0C4D34B779E875CBD2472B.ashx. In this context,
“cells” refers to a humane living space with “normalized” furnishings, porcelain toilets with
seats, upholstered furniture, carpeting, maximizing the use of natural light, and acoustics
designed by experts to reduce noise.
245

Independent Commission, A More Just New York, 78.

246

Ken Ricci, “The Three-Door Jail and the Future of Incarceration,” Center on Media Crime
and Justice at John Jay College, The Crime Report, December 4, 2017,
https://thecrimereport.org/2017/12/04/the-three-door-jail-and-the-future-of-incarceration/.
247

Ricci, Three Door Jail.

248

Van Alen Institute and The Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and
Incarceration Reform, Justice in Design, Toward a Healthier and More Just New York City Jail
System (New York: 2017): 28-30.
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/577d72ee2e69cfa9dd2b7a5e/t/595d484de4fcb5935fbc34fd/
1499285601075/Justice+in+Design+Report.pdf.

114

249

Jennifer Trone, “Thunder in Oklahoma City,” Vera Institute of Justice,
https://www.vera.org/the-human-toll-of-jail/thunder-in-oklahoma-city.
250

Trone, “Thunder in Oklahoma City.”

251

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, “Report and Recommendations of the
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Criminal Justice Reform Task Force” (December 14, 2016),
https://storage.googleapis.com/vera-web-assets/downloads/Publications/oklahoma-city-chambercriminal-justice-task-force-report/legacy_downloads/OK-chamber-final-report.pdf.
252

Independent Commission, A More Just New York (see note 244).

253

Robert Merce, conversation with Judge Jonathan Lippman and Tyler Nims, November 9,
2017.
254

Council of State Governments Justice Center, “Justice Reinvestment in West Virginia:
Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to
Increase Public Safety” (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, January 18,
2013), https://csgjusticecenter.org/jr/west-virginia/publications/justice-reinvestment-in-westvirginia-analyses-policy-options-to-reduce-spending-on-corrections-reinvest-in-strategies-toincrease-public-safety/.
255

Council of State Governments Justice Center “Governors’ Speeches Cite Criminal Justice
Reforms in the States,” (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, January 23,
2017), https://csgjusticecenter.org/jr/west-virginia/posts/governors-speeches-cite-criminaljustice-reforms-in-their-states/.
256

Rick Perry, “Follow the Texas Model,” in Inimai Chettiar and Michael Waldman (eds),
Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice (New York: Brennan Center for
Justice at New York University School of Law, 2015): 89,
https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/solutions-american-leaders-speak-out-criminaljustice.
257

Perry, Follow the Texas Model, 90-91.

258

Perry, Follow the Texas Model, 91.

259

Mike Haugen, “Ten Years of Criminal Justice Reform in Texas,” Right on Crime, August 1,
2017, http://rightoncrime.com/2017/08/ten-years-of-criminal-justice-reform-in-texas/.
260

Haugen, “Ten Years of Criminal Justice Reform in Texas.”

261

Haugen, “Ten Years of Criminal Justice Reform in Texas.”

262

Haugen, “Ten Years of Criminal Justice Reform in Texas.”

115

263

Rick Perry, Follow the Texas Model, 91.

116

 

 

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