Mortality Stats from BJS

Report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics on Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000–2012. The Hawai`i numbers are parsed out below.

The Crime Report summarizes the BJS support in:
BJS Reports Uptick in Jail Deaths
The Crime Report, Oct. 9, 2014

“Deaths in jail may be on the rise, according to a new report released today by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.

“During 2012, 958 inmates died in jail, according to the report, up 8 percent from the 889 deaths in 2011. The report also examined deaths in state prisons, which remained nearly unchanged between 2011 (3,353 deaths) and 2012 (3,351).

“However, the population of inmates at state prisons decreased in 2012, which means the mortality rate actually increased about 2 percent.

“Jails are run by local law enforcement, and typically hold inmates who have not yet been sentenced or have received relatively short sentences. Prisons are run by state corrections departments and inmates typically have longer sentences.

“The majority of deaths in jail (55 percent) and prison (88 percent) in 2012 were related to illnesses, such as heart disease, AIDS, cancer, liver disease and respiratory disease, according to the report.

“But the leading cause of death in jail was suicide (31 percent). The report notes a slight decrease from 43 suicides per 100,000 jail inmates in 2011 to 41 suicides per 100,000 inmates in 2012.”

Hawai`i’s numbers:


Join Us! Tomorrow night for Forum on Mass Incarceration & Police Brutality

More panelists have been added, including Rafael Kennedy, ED of Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i and Nicholas Chagnonk who co-wrote the article on the HPD with Meda Chesney Lind & David Johnson.

This is going to be a very interesting event!

Forum on Mass Incarceration & Police Terror

Friday, Oct. 10, 5:30-8:30 pm

Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
University of Hawaii
2645 Dole St
Room 209A
Honolulu, HI 96822


October 10 (4)5:30-6:30: Light refreshments, information tables, social hour

6:30-8:30: Forum with panelists

  • Nonohe Botelho, Parents of Murdered Children
  • Kat Brady, Community Alliance on Prisons
  • Doug Matsuoka, Hawai`i Guerrilla Video Hui
  • Palikapu Dedman, Ohana Ho`opakele
  • Liz Rees, World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i
  • Rafael Kennedy, ED of Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i
  • Nicholas Chagnonk, Instructor, Sociology Dept, UH-Manoa

Organized by World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i; co-sponsored by Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, `Opio Haku Mo`olelo, Ohana Ho`opakele, Revolution Books, Community Alliance on Prisons, Malu `Aina Center for Non-Violence Education & Action

Updated event flyer

WEBINAR: Justice-Involved Women: Understanding Trauma and Violence


Justice-Involved Women: Understanding Trauma and Violence

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014  

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Hawaiian Time
12:00-1:30pm PST / 3:00-4:30pm EST


To register, click here:


Due to the increasing number of women in correctional settings, there is a growing recognition of the need for gender-responsive and trauma-informed services due, in large part, to an increasing understanding of the prevalence and impact of trauma in their lives.  Recognizing that the vast majority of these women will be released, the need for effective programming for incarcerated women is critical in helping them successfully reenter their communities after being released.  However, too often the (few) programs that do exist for incarcerated women fail to make the needed connections between abuse, trauma, and subsequent violence.

This webinar will focus on both the violence and aggression – including interpersonal and domestic violence – women have experienced as well as when they have perpetrated.  It will be conducted by Stephanie Covington, an internationally renowned trauma expert and trainer.  In the webinar, Dr. Covington will introduce a new evidence-based curriculum entitled Beyond Violence which is designed for women who are in criminal justice settings (jails, prisons, and community corrections) with histories of aggression and/or violence.  The curriculum addresses the factors that put people at risk for experiencing and/or inflicting violence.

Beyond Violence is the first manualized intervention for women that focuses on anger and utilizes a multi-level approach and a variety of evidence-based therapeutic strategies (i.e., psycho-education, role playing, mindfulness activities, cognitive-behavioral restructuring, and grounding skills for trauma triggers).  This four-level model of violence prevention considers the complex interplay between individual, relationship, community, and societal factors.  The program is designed to assist women in understanding trauma, the multiple aspects of anger, and emotional regulation.


  • Define trauma-informed and gender-responsive services
  • Describe the social-ecological model of violence
  • Describe the theoretical foundation of Beyond Violence
  • Discuss the evidence-base and research on Beyond Violence
  • Introduce the Beyond Violence curriculum


Dr. Stephanie Covington, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., is a clinician, organizational consultant, and lecturer.  For over twenty-five years her work has focused on the creation of gender-responsive and trauma-informed services.  Her extensive experience includes designing women’s services at the Betty Ford Center, developing programs for women in criminal justice settings, and being the featured therapist on the Oprah Winfrey Network TV show entitled “Breaking Down the Bars.”  She has also served as a consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna and was selected for the federal Advisory Council on Women’s Services.  Educated at Columbia University and the Union Institute, Dr. Covington has served on the faculties of the University of Southern California, San Diego State University, and the California School of Professional Psychology.  She has published extensively, including six gender-responsive, trauma-informed treatment curricula.  Dr. Covington is based in La Jolla, California, where she is co-director of both the Institute for Relational Development and the Center for Gender and Justice.


Anyone currently working with or planning to work with charged, incarcerated, and reentering women and/or victims of battering will benefit from this webinar.  This may include community- and system-based advocates, reentry program staff, criminal justice professionals (including probation and parole officers) and community corrections staff.


This webinar is open to FVPSA grantees, OVW Grants to Encourage Arrest (GTEA) Grantees, LAV grantees, other OVW grantees, and to the general public.

The webinar is free of charge (but you will have to pay for the phone call if you dial in).

Click Here to Register

If you do not get a confirmation note almost immediately after registering,

please check your JUNK or SPAM email box.

Do you require closed captioning? The National Clearinghouse requires at least 5 business days’ notice.  Please email us at with “Closed Captioning” in the subject line.

Questions?  For questions about this webinar, please contact the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women at  Please put “Reentry #10 Webinar Question” in the subject line.

Can’t attend?  We plan to post recordings of the webinar on our website 7 – 10 days after the “live” presentation is complete.  Please check if you are unable to attend the live presentation; go to the “resource” tab.

You will also find recordings of past webinars there.

Prosecutors…the Gatekeepers

gatekeepersToday’s post is all about the persecutors prosecutors and how they love mandatory sentencing since it transfers all the power from the judiciary (that deliberate in open court) to them (so they can threaten people in the dark).

We can change this bad paradigm, however, it WILL TAKE ALL OF US TO DO IT!

The Nation’s Shame: The Injustice of Mandatory Minimums
For decades, lawyers, scholars, and judges have criticized mandatory drug sentencing as oppressive and ineffective. Yet tens of thousands of nonviolent offenders continue to languish behind bars.
Andrea Jones, Rolling Stone, October 7, 2014

“… Intended to ensure uniform discipline, these policies simply shifted discretion to prosecutors. Judges lost latitude to tailor sanctions based on whether someone was a kingpin or courier, for example, while Osler says, prosecutors gained “a big hammer. The easy way of doing things is to threaten people with a lot of time, and then plead them out,” he says. “But easy and justice don’t go together very well.” …”


Sad truth is our prosecutors don’t always wear white hats
David T. Johnson, Star Advertiser, Jan 12, 2014

“As noted in a recent white paper by the Center for Prosecutor Integrity, American prosecutors frequently:

» Charge suspects with more offenses than is warranted;

» Deliberately mishandle, mistreat or destroy evidence;

» Allow witnesses they know or should know are not truthful to testify;

» Pressure defense witnesses not to testify;

» Rely on fraudulent forensic experts;

» Overstate the strength of evidence during plea negotiations;

» Make statements to the media designed to arouse public prejudice;

» Make misleading and improper statements to the jury;

» Fail to report prosecutor misconduct when it is discovered.


A national survey conducted in 2013 found that 43 percent of respondents believe prosecutor misconduct is widespread in the United States, and 72 percent believe new laws are needed to curb it. I am not sanguine about the possibility of “new laws” being enacted to hold prosecutors accountable for how they exercise their vast powers, because most lawmakers in Hawaii and other states lack the political courage to challenge the widespread assumption that prosecutors wear white hats.”


The kings of the courtroom
How prosecutors came to dominate the criminal-justice system
Economist, Oct. 4, 2014

“…It is not unusual for a co-operator to have 15 or 20 long meetings with agents and prosecutors. It is hard to know what goes on in these sessions because they are not recorded. Participants take notes but do not have to write down everything that is said; nor do they have to share all their notes with the defence. The time that co-operators and their handlers spend alone is a “black hole”, says a prosecutor quoted in “Snitch: Informants, Cooperators and the Corruption of Justice”, by Ethan Brown.


“It is not clear how often prosecutors themselves break the rules. According to a report by the Project on Government Oversight, an investigative outfit, compiled from data obtained from freedom of information requests, an internal-affairs office at the Department of Justice identified more than 650 instances of prosecutors violating the profession’s rules and ethical standards between 2002 and 2013. More than 400 of these were “at the more severe end of the scale”. The Justice Department argues that this level of misconduct is modest given the thousands of cases it handles.


“Disquiet over prosecutorial power is growing. Several states now require third-party corroboration of a co-operator’s version of events or have barred testimony by co-operators with drug or mental-health problems. Judge Rakoff proposes two reforms: scrapping mandatory-minimum sentences and reducing the prosecutor’s role in plea-bargaining—for instance by bringing in a magistrate judge to act as a broker. He nevertheless sees the use of co-operators as a “necessary evil”, though many other countries frown upon it. …”


US: Forced Guilty Pleas in Drug Cases
Threat of Draconian Sentences Means Few Willing to Risk Trial
Human Rights Watch, Dec. 5, 2013

Human Rights Watch Report: An Offer You Can’t Refuse: How US Federal Prosecutors Force Drug Defendants to Plead Guilty


“…Prosecutors are able to impose the trial penalty because judges have been reduced to virtual bystanders in cases involving mandatory sentences. When prosecutors choose to pursue mandatory penalties and the defendant is convicted, judges must impose the sentences. They cannot exercise their traditional role of tailoring sentences to each defendant’s conduct and culpability and of making sentences no longer than necessary to serve the purposes of punishment. …”


A plea for change
American prosecutors have too much power. Hand some of it to judges
Economist, Oct 4, 2014

“… Prosecutors hold all the cards. If a defence lawyer offers a witness $100 for a false alibi, he is guilty of bribery. But if a prosecutor offers a co-operating witness something far more valuable—the chance to avoid several years in a cell—that is just fine. With so much at stake, snitches sometimes tell prosecutors what they want to hear. One study found that nearly half of the cases in which people have been wrongfully sentenced to death hinged on false testimony by informants, typically criminals who were rewarded with lighter punishments.


“Eric Holder, the attorney-general, who announced his retirement on September 25th (see article), has urged federal prosecutors not to seek such harsh sentences in some drug cases. But only some; and state prosecutors are still free to threaten defendants with terrifying punishments if they fail to plead guilty or implicate others. A federal judge recently guessed that thousands of innocent Americans could be stuck behind bars because of coercive plea bargaining.

“Let judges judge

“Many other countries ban plea bargains or limit them stringently. Ideally America should ban them too. If it cannot face the thought, it should at least reform them. Mandatory minimum sentences should be scrapped, and judges should judge each case on its merits. Prosecutorial control over plea bargaining should be loosened, for instance by bringing in a magistrate judge who could take offers from both sides and act as adjudicator. This would make the negotiation more of a give-and-take, and could be used to shine light on a process that is currently as murky as it is inequitable. …”

Mahalo for caring about the quality of justice. PLEASE HELP US ELIMINATE MANDATORY SENTENCING FOR DRUG CRIMES IN 2015.  WE CAN DO IT!!!



This Friday, Oct. 10: Honolulu Forum on Mass Incarceration & Police Terror

Forum on Mass Incarceration & Police Terror

Friday, Oct. 10, 5:30-8:30 pm

Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
University of Hawaii
2645 Dole St
Room 209A
Honolulu, HI 96822


October 10 forum on Mass Inarceration5:30-6:30: Light refreshments, information tables, social hour

6:30-8:30: Forum with panelists


  • Nonohe Botelho, Parents of Murdered Children
  • Kat Brady, Community Alliance on Prisons
  • Doug Matsuoka, Hawai`i Guerrilla Video Hui
  • Palikapu Dedman, Ohana Ho`opakele
  • Liz Rees, World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i

Organized by World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i; co-sponsored by Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, `Opio Haku Mo`olelo, Ohana Ho`opakele, Revolution Books, Community Alliance on Prisons, Malu `Aina Center for Non-Violence Education & Action

FLYER: October 10 forum on Mass Inarceration


Notes from 9/30/14 Info Briefing re HPD’s handling of Domestic Violence (DV)

From Kat:

Below is a link to the information briefing held by Senator Espero.  I took lots of notes (from what I could hear) and have attached them as a pdf. This is NOT A TRANSCRIPT and I did not catch everything, however, I think I got  the bulk of what was discussed.

Notes from 9.30.14 Info Briefing re HPD’s handling of Domestic Violence


Register for Nov. 7 Harm Reduction Conference NOW!

Harm Reduction 2014: The Tipping Point

Friday November 7, 2014

Honolulu Community College

Here is the registration form and this is the link to register online. Flyer and conference schedule.
CAP still has some slots open for those who would like to attend.  CAP will pay your registration fee if you let Kat know by October 10th.

This conference is going to be great with lots of cutting edge topics and interesting breakout sessions.

Let Kat know so she can reserve you a spot! Fill out the form and send it to Kat if you would like CAP sponsorship.



Tomorrow: HPD Info Briefing on DV at the Legislature

Senator Will Espero, Chair
Senator Rosalyn H. Baker, Vice Chair

Rep. Henry J.C. Aquino, Chair
Rep. Kaniela Ing, Vice Chair


Tuesday, September 30
10 – 12 noon
Room 309

 The purpose of this informational briefing is to update the legislators in regards to domestic violence in Hawaii, Honolulu Police Department response, and ideas for improvement.

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Overview of Domestic Violence laws – Domestic Violence Action Center – Loretta Sheehan, esq., Nicole Edwards Masuda, esq. 
  3. Annual Statistics and data-   DVAC – Community Outreach & Education –  Cindy Spencer, Vice President
  4. Police Response to DV calls – Honolulu Police Department – Chief Louis Kealoha, Police Chief
  5. Response to DV calls if alleged abuser is HPD – Honolulu Police Department
  6. Status report of Officer Cachola video – Honolulu Police Department
  7. The role of the Police Commission – Police Commission – Gregory Gilmartin, Executive Officer
  8. Best Practices of Law Enforcement – Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Marci Lopes, Executive Director
  9. Experiences of victims – Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Cathy Betts, Executive Director
  10. Independent Review Board Proposal –  Aaron Hunger, Instructor of Criminal Justice at Remington College & Ph.D. at UH of Manoa
  11. Adjournment

No public testimony will be accepted.

Visitation Cancelled Again

From Kat:

Yesterday was another sad day for families who try to maintain connections with their loved ones imprisoned in WCCC and OCCC. I received an email from a person who is not involved in justice issues asking why the community is not OUTRAGED at this continual problem. I know that families have a hard time speaking out since retaliation is very real, however, it is time for us to stand together to demand that the department deal with this RIGHT NOW. What should we do? Sign wave in front of OCCC and/or WCCC, start a petition…send me your ideas and your commitment to participate…

Family visits canceled again at women’s prison, OCCC
Star-Advertiser staff. Sept. 28, 2014


AG Holder Formally Resigns

imgresUS Attorney General Eric Holder has formally resigned. He will stay until a replacement is found. This is sad because he has been saying all the right stuff about mandatory minimums promoting disparity, prisons being unsustainable, and low level drug lawbreakers.  We hope that his replacement will follow through with his philosophy. We know that many right-wing folks in Congress follow Newt Gingrich & Pat Nolan’s Right on Crime activity, so let’s hope that common sense prevails.

Attorney General Eric Holder to step down
Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, Sept. 25, 2014

“Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., an original member of President Obama’s Cabinet and a vocal proponent of civil rights and criminal justice reform, plans to leave the post as soon as a successor is confirmed…

“President Obama will make an announcement about HolderThursday afternoon, according to White House officials.”

Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General
Carrie Johnson, NPR, Sept. 25, 2014

“Eric Holder Jr., the nation’s first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

“Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.”