Prison Building & Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)

Your voice really matters on this issue! Please make your voice heard!

From Kat:

YOUR VOICE MATTERSSince the Hawai`i Legislature passed a resolution to issue an RFP (Request for Proposals) to construct new correctional facilities in Hawai`i, corporate prison companies like CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) and GEO (2 of the largest corporate prison profiteers) are salivating to get into Hawai`i. They have been trying for 20 years to gain a foothold here. Almost 1500 men are currently in a CCA corporate prison in AZ and as the population of our men has dropped there, retaliation appears to have increased. One of our men in AZ  is in administration segregation (lockdown) merely for contacting me, although he has a letter from one of the Hawai`i monitors allowing the contact (nice of them to acknowledge that we still have constitutional rights). One tactic is to throw folks in SHIP (Special Housing Incentive Program), a purported ‘voluntary’ program (it’s really lockdown: SHIP 1=locked down 23 hours a day; SHIP 2=locked down 22 hours a day; SHIP 3=locked down for a bit less – 20 or 21 hours a day).  It actually was a “program” for gang members who couldn’t live in general population, but this 18 month-3-step  ‘program’  is a convenient way of keeping the beds warm and OUR $$$ flowing into CCA’s pocket.

So we have been doing some research on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) and they are certainly a mixed bag. Our fear is that Hawai`i can be so easily duped by the high-priced, high-powered lawyers who negotiate these deals day in and day out.

The public has got to get involved as our resources are traded out from under our noses.

Here is a message from Lorenn Walker, who started a petition against increasing prison beds:

Aloha!

The state of Hawai‘i wants to spend about $1 billion on new prison bed construction. It plans on imprisoning over 6000 people for a state population of about 1.3 million. This large prison population makes Hawai’i less safe because the rate of repeating crime increases when people are imprisoned and the communities that they come from and usually return, suffer continual erosion. Instead of spending a $1 billion on a new prison, Hawai‘i should implement Justice Reinvestment, Restorative Justice, and increase community programming for safer communities.

That’s why I created a petition to The Hawaii State House, The Hawaii State Senate, and Governor Neil Abercrombie, which says: “Stop the movement to build a new prison in Hawai‘i.”

Will you sign this petition? Click here:
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/no-new-prison-construction?source=c.em.mt&r_by=7038610

Mahalo!
Lorenn Walker, J.D., M.P.H.
P.O. Box 489
Waialua, Hawai‘i, 96791
Ph & text: (808) 218-3712
E: lorenn@hawaii.edu
Skype: lorennwalker
http://www.lorennwalker.com
http://www.apologyletter.org
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lorenn-Walker-JD-MPH/144199572354488

“Each individual has a universal responsibility to shape institutions to serve human needs.”  – The Dalai Lama

I’ll start off with an abbreviated excerpt from the counter-proposal to the RFI (Request for Information) that the Department of Public Safety issued in November written by Community Alliance on Prisons and Lorenn Walker of Hawai`i Friends of Justice & Civic Education. (If you would like a PDF version of the 13- page document, let me know and I’ll send it to you.)

WHY CONTRACTING ANY FURTHER WITH CCA (CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA)  IS A BAD INVESTMENT

We understand that this proposal is for building – not operating – facilities. Nevertheless, Hawai`i’s experience with CCA should inform any decisions about contracting with this corporation. We highlight a few of CCA’s problems:

  • Shoddy Construction
  • Expansion Spending
  • Labor Problems
  • Ethical Problems
  • Lobbying Against Transparency
  • Conversion to a REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust
  • Financial Woes
  • Expansion Spending

CAP is definitely staying on top of this issue and we hope that you sign the petition and send it around to your own circles of associates, friends, and family anywhere in the world. It is important that the administration knows that people are watching.

Here are some very enlightening articles, including a 4-part series of articles about P3s from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a few weeks ago:

We Must Protect Taxpayers in Public-Private Partnerships
David Cohen, August 20, 2014

Excerpt:
“P3s that don’t include adequate protections can quickly turn into disasters.

  • agreement must be carefully and thoughtfully crafted.
  • the public must maintain democratic control of infrastructure as well as the ability to make public policy decisions in the future.
  • there must be robust and broad participation in decision-making processes to ensure P3 projects are chosen to meet community, employment, and economic needs.
  • P3s must be fully transparent and accountable to public institutions.”

The ‘P3′ dilemma: How effective are public-private partnerships?
By Len Boselovic / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 10, 2014
The first of a four-part series

Excerpt:
“… Public-private partnerships are the intersection where investors eager to cash in on America’‍s $3.6 trillion infrastructure needs collide with taxpayers and elected officials unwilling or unable to provide the money. P3s are based on long-term agreements that turn over to the private sector infrastructure traditionally built and operated by the public sector.

“They are government by another name. …”

The ‘P3′ dilemma:Partnerships often fall short of taxpayers’ expectations
By Len Boselovic / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 11, 2014
The second of a four-part series

Excerpt:
“…“This is the most corporate welfared-up industry that there is,” said Lee Cokorinos, a public interest research consultant based in Silver Spring, Md.”

The ‘P3′ dilemma: Bridge initiative promises savings and efficiency
By Len Boselovic / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 12, 2014
The third of a four-part series.

Excerpt:
“… Many P3s are not living up to the expectations of investors, the governments that sponsored them, and the public. Additionally, there are concerns lawmakers and the public are not getting enough information about the terms of the contracts.”

The ‘P3′ dilemma: States learn partnerships come with hazards
By Len Boselovic / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,August 13, 2014
The fourth of a four-part series.

Below is the P3 project ratings by the American Society of Civil Engineers:

Am. Society of Civil Engineers Ratings

 

Aging in Prison: Why continual review of incarcerated people is so important!

screen_shot_2011-07-27_at_1.07.45_pmThe Crisis of the Aging Prison Population
The Crime Report, August 8, 2014

Unkind Life for Young and Old
The New York Times, August 7, 2014

Excerpt:
“Prison is no country for old men, or women, but in New York and across the country, nearly a quarter million inmates are age 50 or older. “Someone who is 50 in prison has the medical issues that would face someone 10 years older,” Ms. Gaynes said. The number of inmates 55 or older quadrupled from 1995 to 2010, and is projected to keep swelling, according to “The High Cost of Low Risk: The Crisis of America’s Aging Prison Population,” a report released Thursday by Osborne.”

For Aging Inmates, Care Outside Prison Walls
Christine Vestal, Stateline, The PEW Charitable Trusts, August 12, 2104

Excerpt:
“Providing health care to an aging prison population is a large and growing cost for states. Not only do inmates develop debilitating conditions at a younger age than people who are not incarcerated, but caring for them in the harsh environment of prisons is far more expensive than it is on the outside.

“Of the 2.3 million adults in state and federal prisons, about 246,000 are 50 or older, according to the National Institute of Corrections. The U.S. currently spends more than $16 billion annually caring for these aging inmates, and their numbers are projected to grow dramatically in the next 15 years.

“’In a couple of years,” said Donna Strugar-Fritsch, a consultant with Health Management Associates, “this is the only thing people are going to be talking about.  It’s getting worse by the minute.’”

Without Reviews, Inmates Can Get Lost In U.S. Prison System
Laura Sullivan, NPR, April 5, 2013

This is an older story…and a sad one, indeed. It highlights the need for continual reviews of incarcerated individuals so no one gets lost in the bureaucracy. CAP is still working on a compassionate release system that is truly compassionate. Let’s hope the next administration will take this serious issues to heart.

Mental Health Care & Families

brain_mentalhealth_xsmall1-300x199This post is all about the health care in prisons and jails. We start off with another cancellation of visits at OCCC and how incarceration affects family health. Kat has been told by many incarcerated folks at other facilities in Hawai`i  that this is happening all over. We need real leadership to tackle this problem with staff.

Then a model jail diversion program in San Antonio with police trained in mental health protocols and an article about the role of jails in treating the mentally ill.

And lastly, but surely not least, Mental Health America has produced a booklet called  FINDING HELP.  Kudos to Mental  Health America – Hawai`i  and its dynamite ED Marya Grambs for producing this helpful guide. I hope everyone downloads it and keeps it on hand.

 

Family visits canceled again at OCCC
Star-Advertiser, August 17, 2014

Excerpt:
“The Department of Public Safety cancelled regularly scheduled visitation to the Oahu Community Correctional Center on Sunday.

“Such cancellations have become a regular occurrence this year as the department grapples with ongoing staffing shortages at facilities on Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui and Kauai.

“Sunday marked the fifth time in the last seven weeks that visitation to OCCC was cancelled.”

Maintaining connections with loved ones is a crucial piece of an individual’s well-being. It is so shameful that this is allowed to go on.

 

How Incarceration Affects Family Health
The Crime Report, August, 15, 2014

Excerpt:
“The health-related effects of having an incarcerated family member during childhood can extend well into adulthood, according to a new study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. …

“Among respondents to the survey, 6.5 percent were exposed to having a member of their household incarcerated during their childhoods. They were more likely to report both recent physical and mental health-related quality of life issues in the survey.

“Asked about overall mental health in the previous 30 days, 10 percent of the general population reported suffering “unhealthy mental days,” compared to 23 percent among those exposed to household incarceration during childhood.

“For physical ailments, 11 percent of the general population reported recent problems, compared to 15 percent among those exposed to household incarceration during childhood.

“More than one-third (36%) of respondents with exposure to household incarceration during childhood experienced other adverse experiences of childhood, including abuse, exposure to drugs and having a mentally ill household member according to the study.  About 6 percent of the general population reported similar experiences.”

 

Adverse childhood events: Incarceration of household members and health-related quality of life in adulthood
Annie Gjelsvik, Dora M. Dumont, Amy Nunn, David L. Rosen, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Volume 25, Number 3, August 2014, pp. 1169-1182 | 10.1353/hpu.2014.0112

Abstract

  • Background. Incarceration of a household member has been associated with adverse outcomes for child well-being.
  • Methods. We assessed the association between childhood exposure to the incarceration of a household member and adult health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in the 2009/2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System controlling for age, race/ethnicity, education, and additional adverse childhood experiences.
  • Results. Adults who lived in childhood with an incarcerated household member had higher risk of poor HRQOL compared with adults who had not (adjusted relative risk [ARR] 1.18; 95% CI 1.07, 1.31). Among Black adults the association was strongest with the physical health component of HRQOL (ARR 1.58 [95% CI 1.18, 2.12]); among White adults, the association was strongest with the mental health component of HRQOL (ARR 1.29, [95% CI 1.07–1.54]).
  • Conclusions. Living with an incarcerated household member during childhood is associated with higher risk of poor health related quality of life (HRQOL) during adulthood, suggesting that the collateral damages of incarceration for children are long-term.

Mental Health Cops Help Reweave Social Safety Net In San Antonio
Jenny Gold, NPR, August, 19, 2014

Listen to the story.

Excerpt:
“…San Antonio and Bexar County have transformed their mental health system into a program considered a model for the rest of the nation. Today, the jails aren’t full, and the city and county have saved $50 million over the past five years. …

“The effort has focused on an idea called “smart justice” — basically, diverting people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment instead. …”

Wouldn’t it be great if HPD had officers like this? DPS testified that the seriously mentally ill population has risen from 16% to 24%. This doesn’t include those folks who are mentally ill, but not diagnosed as “seriously mentally ill”. There is a great jail diversion program in Hilo that is seeing success with this population, and yet the department is apparently ambivalent to it. We included this in our proposal as an alternative to building more facilities. It is so sad to see Hawai`i actually moving backwards, especially  when we know what works.

 

What Is The Role Of Jails In Treating The Mentally Ill?
NPR Staff, September 15, 2013

Listen to the story.

Excerpt:
“‘In many ways, we are a hospital,’ says Hough, the psychiatrist. ‘What brought them into the system was an alleged crime, and we certainly at the Department of Mental Health are not here to judge that. But while they are here and they suffer from a mental illness, we will provide care.”

“The county says it is trying to make the best of a tough situation, but columnist Steve Lopezcalls it a crime.

“‘Yes, for some people maybe it’s better than being than on the street,’ Lopez tells NPR’s Jacki Lyden. ‘But that doesn’t mean that a jail is a therapeutic environment, and that doesn’t mean that this is good public policy, and that doesn’t mean that anyone should find this acceptable.’ “

 

FINDING HELP: A Human Services Directory for the State of Hawai`i
Helping Hawai`i Live Life Well

Mental Health America of Hawai`i
Website: http://www.mentalhealth-hi.org
1124 Fort Street Mall, Suite #205 • Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813
(Wheelchair Accessible/Elevator entrance: 67 So. Pauahi, off Bethel)
Ph: (808) 521-1846 • Fax: (808) 533-6995 • E-mail: info@mentalhealth-hi.org

Mental Health America of Hawai`i – Maui County Branch
95 Mahalani Street, Suite #5 • Wailuku, HI 96793
Ph: (808) 242-6461 • Fax: (808) 242-1887 • E-mail: info@mauimentalhealth.org

 

The Militarization of Police

ap361908073772Well, the killing of Michael Brown in Missouri has ignited a firestorm  about police transparency and actions.  Today’s post follows some of the stories that are entirely applicable to Hawai`i since HPD bought plenty of weaponry in advance of APEC in 2011. We have never been able to find out exactly what the rules of engagement for those weapons are since Kat’s former Councilperson (Tulsi Gabbard, who was the head of public safety) refused to answer calls and e-mails raising these questions. We are still pursuing this question.  Here are the stories:

The Government Program That’s Equipping Police Like an Occupying Military Force
Sue Sturgis, The American Prospect, August 18, 2014

House Democrat Readies Bill To Demilitarize Local Police
Jennifer Bendery, Huffington Post, August 14, 2014

Excerpt:
“WASHINGTON — Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) announced Thursday that he plans to file legislation aimed at stemming the militarization of local police — something on full display this week in Ferguson, Missouri, where officers in riot gear have been showering largely peaceful protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.”

Representative Johnson spoke at the June 12th JRI meeting Kat attended in Washington, DC. What Kat loved about him is that he started his talk with “This is about PEOPLE….” .   He will file his bill in September and we need to urge our delegation to support it!

Congress Will Review the Transfer of Military Weapons to Police Forces After Ferguson
Hayes Brown, Nation of Change, August 18, 2014

Excerpt:
The matter of Ferguson and arm transfers must be discussed. A review by Congress can’t be silenced or one-sided—this is a serious problem.

“In the aftermath of clashes between heavily armed police forces and protesters in Ferguson, MO, the Senate will review the nearly twenty-five year old law that promotes the transfer of surplus military goods to police forces, the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said on Friday.”

 

Ferguson Exposes the Reality of Militarized, Racist Policing
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Nation of Change, August 18, 2014

Excerpt:
A bright light needs to be shined on the policies, practices and weaponry that are being used. It’s time for police to serve the people.

“The killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, MO police officer, who was identified Friday as Darren Wilson, and the aftermath in which nonviolent protesters and reporters were met with a violent and militarized police force have exposed something that has been building for years. Many have written about the militarization of the police and the disproportionate impact they have on people of color, but now more Americans are seeing this reality and cannot escape it.”

Why ‘Shock and Awe’ Policing Fails
Graham Kates, The Crime Report, August 18, 2014

Excerpt:
“Law enforcement needs to respect the right of citizens to assemble in peaceful protest—and keep its military hardware out of sight, says a former director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

“James Stewart, who now directs public safety research for CNA Corporation, an Arlington, VA-based nonprofit security research firm that advises military and government agencies, says these are the critical lessons to be drawn from the community-police confrontation in Ferguson, MO, which erupted last week following the police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

“In an extended telephone interview with The Crime Report’s Deputy Managing Editor Graham Kates, Stewart contended that the escalation of violence—which triggered the imposition of a curfew in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, this weekend by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, could have been prevented if police had avoided the kind of crowd-suppression tools usually associated with anti-terrorism—and were willing to be more transparent.

“Stewart, a former Oakland, CA Chief of Detectives, recently led a CNA review of the 2013 death of Tyrone West in Baltimore, MD. Though officers were cleared of criminal wrongdoing in West’s death, the report — which was commissioned by the city’s police department and was released on August 8 — took the department to task for not releasing information about its investigation, which in turn helped stoke “conspiracy theories” that exacerbated the situation.

“According to Stewart, the Ferguson police might have done well to heed the lessons of his Baltimore report.”

 

Militarization of the police: it is more than just equipment
streiff, RedState, August 16, 2014

Excerpt:
Riot police clear demonstrators from a street in Ferguson“If anything good comes out of the mess in Ferguson it may be a national consensus that American police forces have gradually morphed from a force designed to protect citizens into a heavily militarized force. While much silliness has been spread for the reasons for this — apparently the “North Hollywood Shootout,” in which two heavily armed bank robbers held LAPD at bay for nearly exactly 20 minutes before one was killed and the second wounded and left to bleed out on the pavement justifies combat fatigues, MRAPs and the Dallas Independent School District having its own SWAT team. …

“The real question we should be asking is not whether cops need MRAPs and drones, they don’t. The real question is why American police on American streets have rules of engagement more liberal when it comes to the use of deadly force than those a soldier in Afghanistan works under? If an Afghan was killed under the same circumstances as Michael Brown, the soldier involved and probably his immediate supervisor would be facing a court martial. If you doubt the degree to which our police are militarized ponder that question.”

Crossing Borders

From Kat:

Last night I attended a Kipuka for Change, a learning circle hosted by Hawai`i People’s Fund. The Topic was “Crossing Borders” and focused on the children from Central America. There were several UH professors there as well as people who came from struggling nations. We sat in a circle and each person introduced themselves and said why they were there in one word. It was really interesting. The words ranged from sad to confused to tolerant to sorrow.

A UH professor, Susannah Rice, spoke about the 3 countries from where the children are coming: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. She presented a brief analysis of the history of these countries and the US involvement there. She focused on decimated economies and lack of infrastructure that force people to leave and seek better lives. She spoke about the militarization of police and the role that the war on drugs plays in immigration and crimmigration (criminalizing immigrants).  That led to a discussion about Ferguson, MO, where the militarization of the local police was in evidence.

We then broke into smaller groups to meet each other and discuss these issues further. It was a very diverse crowd, which led to interesting discussions and personal stories. At the end., we closed with one word and they ranged from hope to encouragement to community to love.

There are so many ways that we can create strong, healthy, and safe communities. We must first acknowledge that we are all human beings that have the same basic needs. This is a good place to start, imho.

♦ ♦ ♦

Last night’s discussion prompted me to dedicate today’s post to what is going on with law enforcement. Has their mission changed from protecting the community POLICE UNIFORMS 1968-2011to arming themselves against the community? On the right, a graphic of police uniforms from 1968-2011. You might say that this could never happen in Hawai`i, below are photos from Kaua`i during the Superferry demonstrations. Heavily armed swat teams against a community in speedos, surf shorts, and bikinis armed with surfboards. It IS happening here. During APEC, HPD purchased $700,000 worth of weaponry. Why? Against What? Who?HAWAII MILITARIZATION OF POLICE

 

 

♦ ♦ ♦

War Gear Flows to Police Departments
Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times, June 8, 2014

Excerpts:
“During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft….

“The ubiquity of SWAT teams has changed not only the way officers look, but also the way departments view themselves. Recruiting videos feature clips of officers storming into homes with smoke grenades and firing automatic weapons. In Springdale, Ark., a police recruiting video is dominated by SWAT clips, including officers throwing a flash grenade into a house and creeping through a field in camouflage….”

 

In Wake of Clashes, Calls to Demilitarize Police
Julie Bosman and Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times, August 14, 2014

Excerpts:
“…In most instances, the government did not require training for police departments receiving military-style equipment and few if any limitations were put on its use, he said. …

“The increase in military-style equipment has coincided with a significant rise in the number of police SWAT teams, which are increasingly being used for routine duties such as conducting liquor inspections and serving warrants. …”

WATCH: Stillwater Police Department Recruiting Video

♦ ♦ ♦

2 Appeals to Congress to Stop the Militarization of Police

Our Communities Are Not War Zones
ACLU Action

“Last week, local police fatally shot an unarmed African-American 18-year-old named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In the days that followed, there have been massive protests in Ferguson and heavily armed SWAT teams are roaming the streets in response. Our communities are not warzones.

“And yet the police, armed to the teeth, treat us like the enemy, especially if we’re black, young, poor or homeless. Tanks are rolling through our towns. What will it take for police to start protecting communities of color, not waging war on them?

“The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice are funneling billions of dollars to state and local law enforcement agencies every year to help them purchase military weaponry and equipment. What business do DOD, DHS, and DOJ have funding a war here at home?

“With our country’s long history of aggressive policing in communities of color, it shouldn’t surprise us that these wartime tools and tactics are hitting poor and black neighborhoods hardest. To start undoing the damage, the feds need to stop funding this war.

“Good policing is about trust, which has been severely eroded through the use of excessive force and police brutality. If police forces across America continue to militarize and treat communities of color as the enemy, they will increasingly be seen as an occupying army.

“Stopping the funding and incentivizing of police militarization is a crucial first step to ending this war.

“Tell the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice: Stop funding the siege on communities of color.”

 

Tell Congress: Pass the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. No more Fergusons!
Daily Kos Campaigns

“Police in Ferguson, Missouri could transform their town into a war zone—because of armored vehicles, assault weapons and body armor provided by the United States military.

“And police militarization has happened in cities all over the country.

“Section 1033 of a military spending bill passed in 1996 allows the Pentagon to give “surplus war material” to local police departments. Since 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security has also offered grants to local law enforcement agencies to “combat terrorism and fight the war on drugs.” As a direct result, we see situations like what we saw in Ferguson.

“Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) will soon introduce the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act in Congress—which would end the federal government’s program of providing billions of dollars worth of military equipment to local police. It’s about time.

“Sign the petition to Congress: No more Fergusons. Pass the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.”

Four terrific pieces to explore!

Four really terrific pieces for you to explore today:

  1. From The Sentencing Project

    • Article: Can We Reduce The Prison Population By 25%
      • Excerpt: “A report we recently co-authored for The Sentencing Project documented that three states – New York, New Jersey, and California – have led the nation in recent years by reducing their prison populations by about 25%. … While some proponents of continued high rates of incarceration warn of the prospect of a “crime wave” if populations are reduced, we found no evidence for such an outcome in these states. During this time frame, a period in which crime rates were declining nationally, these three states generally achieved greater reductions in violent and property crimes than national averages. … Below is a selection of changes in policy and practice that hold the potential for substantial reductions in imprisonment.”: Expand diversion programs and their admissions criteria; Reduce sentence lengths for drug offenders; Establish an upper limit on all prison terms; Reduce parole and probation supervision of low-risk individuals; Reclassify certain felony offenses as misdemeanor
    • Policy Brief: Fewer Prisoners, Less Crime
      • imgresExcerpt: “These prison population reductions have come about through a mix of changes in policy and practice designed to reduce admissions to prison and lengths of stay. The experiences of these states reinforce that criminal justice policies, and not crime rates, are the prime drivers of changes in prison populations. They also demonstrate that it is possible to substantially reduce prison populations without harming public safety.”
  2. A film on Juvenile Life Without Parole (Florida case. Free film viewing online this month.) Are you the same person you were at 15?

    • 15tolife-144x90_video_thumb_0Documentary: 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story
      • “Does sentencing a teenager to life without parole serve our society well? The United States is the only country in the world that routinely condemns children to die in prison. This is the story of one of those children, now a young man, seeking a second chance in Florida.”
  3. Why Inequality Matters for Criminology and Criminal Justice

    Abstract: “The presenter, a co-author of The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, will focus on economic inequality, which receives less attention than race or gender. This paper will start by  providing an overview of economic inequality in several developed nations before discussing several ways to conceptualize the inequality between natural and corporate persons. Next, the presentation will summarize the links between inequality and crimes of the poor as well as crimes of the rich, following Braithwaite’s formulation that inequality worsens crimes of need and crimes of greed. The impact of inequality on each stage of the criminal justice system will then be reviewed. Law making is influenced by lobbying. Policing means war on crimes done by the poor and zero tolerance, but deregulation for corporations. Judicial processing and outcomes are heavily influenced by quality of legal assistance and resources. By sentencing, the wealthy and corporations who have harmed workers, consumers and communities have been largely weeded out; it is the poor who get sentenced to prison, reinforcing the belief that they are the most dangerous. The conclusion highlights the importance of ideology in minimizing concern about inequality and its effect on justice.”

  4. US Sentencing Commission Quick Facts on Women in the Federal Offender Population

    • “While women continue to make up a small percentage of federal offenders, the proportion of federal offenders who were women rose slightly from 12.1% in fiscal year 2009 to 13.3% in fiscal year 2013.Offender And Offense Characteristics:

      In fiscal year 2013, more than two-thirds of female offenders were sentenced for drug trafficking (33.7%), fraud (23.9%), or immigration (14.3%) offenses.

      In only one offense, embezzlement, were female offenders in the majority (57.2%).

      More than one-third were Hispanic (37.5%) followed by White (34.5%), Black (21.8%), and Other Races (6.2%).

      The largest racial group of female drug trafficking offenders was Hispanic (43.6%) followed by White (35.6%), Black (16.3%), and Other Races (4.5%).

      The largest racial group of female fraud offenders was White (42.5%) followed by Black (35.8%), Hispanic (15.5%), and Other Races (6.2%).

      Most female immigration offenders were Hispanic (86.4%), followed by White (5.4%), Other Races (4.9%), and Black (3.3%).

      The average age of these offenders at sentencing was 38 years.

      The majority of female offenders were United States citizens (79.5%).

      Most female offenders (70.8%) had little or no prior criminal history (i.e., assigned to Criminal History Category I). The proportion of female offenders in other Criminal History Categories was as follows:

      10.2% of these offenders were in Category II;

      10.5% were in Category III;

      3.6% were in Category IV;

      2.0% were in Category V; and,

      2.9% were in Category VI.

      Districts with the highest proportion of their overall caseload comprising female offenders were:

      Middle District of Alabama (26.2% of overall caseload);

      Northern District of West Virginia (25.4%);

      District of Alaska (24.3%);

      Western District of Virginia (22.6%);

      Southern District of Illinois (22.4%); and,

      District of Hawaii (22.4%).

Invitation from the Hawai`i Judiciary History Center

Ua Unihi Na Palapala

Revealing Indigenous Responses to Western Concepts of Justice

Wednesday, August 20, 2014  5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Aliiolani Hale, 417 S King Street, Honolulu, HI 96813 

Free and open to the public. Light refreshments served.

aliiolanihale_200h_optThe translation of over 2,000 Hawaiian Kingdom court documents from Hawaiian to English provides new information and insight for understanding daily life in Hawaii during the 19th Century. The documents translated are only a few of the Hawaiian language documents housed at the Hawaii State Archives.

The translations helped guide the development of the Center’s exhibitions and displays. Since 1977, translators have spent countless hours deciphering handwriting, solving mysterious abbreviations, learning old names and relocating unfamiliar places names.  Some cultural practices referenced and described within the court documents are no longer practiced and virtually unknown today, making translation difficult.

Hear about the challenges of translation work and the opportunities for becoming more proficient in Hawaiian grammar and vocabulary.  Esther Kiki Mookini (translator),Toni Han Palermo (program specialist), and Kaanoi Walk (research scholar) share stories of this on-going project to make Hawaiian Kingdom court documents accessible to a broader audience. Learn more about the types of cases brought before the court in the 19th century and how they were settled.

RSVP by August 19, 2014 to 539-4999 or info@jhchawaii.net

Primary Election on Sat. August 9th

imgresPrimary election is the Saturday after next – on  AUGUST 9TH.  Please vote in this important election. CAP works on issues, so we don’t endorse candidates. However, in the interest of keeping you all informed, below are some articles and the plans presented by both candidates for Governor.

Hawaii Gov Candidates Unveil New Visions for the Next Four Years
Incumbent Abercrombie and challenger Ige lay out their proposals for Hawaii.
July 30, 2014· Chad Blair, Honolulu Civil Beat

Excerpt:
“The day after their last two candidate debates, Neil Abercrombie and David Ige released their respective plans for the state, should one of them be favored by voters to be governor for the next four years…

“So, let’s start with Ige.

“His “action plan,” titled Engineering Hawaii’s Future (Ige is an engineer, get it?), is “a work in progress,” he said, one that was compiled over the course of 13 months of collecting input statewide. He cautioned that the plan was “a living document” that would evolve and be refined once he is in office…

“The priorities of Engineering Hawaii’s Future are:

  • building the economy;
  • supporting and expanding the visitor industry, in part by making the airport in Kona an international port and working on visa issues with nations like China;
  • improving the state’s information-technology infrastructure;
  • attracting high-tech investment; and
  • producing food and energy locally.

“…Abercrombie’s new plan is called Charting Tomorrow: A Plan for a Brighter Future in Hawaii. He calls the plan “a solid agenda” for the future that builds on the foundations of the New Day Plan. It was put together through his administration with outreach to the public….

“Charting Tomorrow has these priorities:

  • the economy and “fiscal management”;
  • education, early through higher;
  • the environment including clean energy, greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability; and
  • health care and human services, including help for the homeless and kupuna.”

National Pundits Buzzing About Hawaii Gov Race
Political wags are wagging that Abercrombie is in “serious trouble.”
July 30, 2014·Patti Epler,Honolulu Civil Bieat

Candidate’s Plans

Abercrombie: Charting Tomorrow

Ige: Engineering Hawai`i’s Future

U.S. Sentencing Commission votes for retroactivity of new reduced drug guidelines

imgresYesterday the US Sentencing Commission voted unanimously for full retroactivity of new reduced drug guidelines.  Here are items from Sentencing Law & Policy site by Professor of Law Doug Berman, and Press Releases from the US Sentencing Commission and AG Holder:

USSC votes for full (though slightly delayed) retroactivity of new reduced drug guidelines
Excerpt:
“I just received this early report via a credible source as to what the US Sentencing Commission did this afternoon on the issue of making its new lower guidelines retroactive:

The Commission just voted unanimously to make the “drugs minus 2″ amendment retroactive with a single limitation — no order reducing a sentence can take effect until Nov. 1, 2015.  This is later than the Judicial Conference recommended (they proposed that it effect in May 2015 to give courts and probation time to prepare)….

The Commission predicts that more than 46,000 will be eligible to seek a reduction.  Part of the reason for the delayed effective date is to make sure each inmate is released with a re-entry plan and the opportunity for transitional steps such as halfway houses or home confinement.”

Here for official press release from U.S. Sentencing Commission

Here for Statement by Attorney General Holder on Sentencing Commission Vote Approving Retroactivity of Sentence Reductions for Drug Offenses