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The massive recommendations of a once-a-decade task force are moving ahead, despite concerns that some go too far.
The high costs of prisons may finally lead legislators to look seriously at an alternative to incarceration that’s widely used elsewhere.
The governor is expected to propose the relocation of the Oahu Community Correctional Center in a speech to lawmakers next week. But will the union go along with it?
A Native Hawaiian inmate says state officials are denying his rights to mark Makahiki in the Hawaii Community Correctional Center.
About $15 million would be spent to expand inmate capacity at each of the neighbor island jails.
With so many inmates housed in Arizona, Hawaii is especially affected by high rates charged by companies that monopolize prison telephone service.
Legislators created the Re-entry Commission in 2009 and revamped it in 2012. But, to date, it has never had a quorum at a meeting.
Of the state program’s 800-plus “graduates,” only 20 have returned to prison after committing a new sex crime, a recidivism rate of slightly more than 2 percent.
Prison-reform advocates and tough-on-crime proponents glean different conclusions from the same numbers concerning well-publicized prisoners who walk away — and the few who commit new crimes.
In 2012, the state’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative set lofty goals to achieve higher efficiency and a lower inmate population. There’s been practically no progress so far.
The governor acknowledges that sending prisoners to the mainland is not ideal but says there is little choice for now because the prison in Halawa needs upgrading and the jail in Kalihi needs to be replaced.