Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Tuesday announced that he had appointed former prisons director Ted Sakai to the new Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission.

Sakai has almost 30 years at the Department of Public Safety including as prisons director, deputy director, administrative assistant to the director and chief of staff. He was also the warden at the Waiawa Correctional Facility.

Sakai is the executive director at the nonprofit Puulu Lapaau, the Hawaii Program for Health Professionals.

Director of Public Safety Ted Sakai Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force meets at the Hawaii State Capitol on September 9, 2014.
Then-Director of Public Safety Ted Sakai in 2014. PF Bentley/Civil Beat

He joins three other commissioners — retired judge Ronald Ibarra (appointed by Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald), Mark Patterson (appointed by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chair Colette Machado) and Michael Town (appointed by Senate President Ronald Kouchi).

One more seat must still be filled, according to the governor’s office.

The Hawaii Legislature created the five-member, independent commission last session “to help improve the corrections system, including prison overcrowding.”

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