The state will likely continue with Corrections Corporation of America in Arizona, despite a long history of problems.
A Native Hawaiian prisoner at Halawa Correctional Facility is seeking class-action status so that fellow inmates could join the suit.
The state is on the hook for more than $7 million for neglecting a former inmate’s severe blood infection at the Oahu Community Correctional Center.
The federal class-action case has dragged on for five years.
Under a proposed bill, more than 200 people convicted of misdemeanors could be released from custody to help relieve jail overcrowding.