I have been busy for the last month researching and writing a response to the Department of Public Safety’s Request for Information about Renovation of Correctional Facilities statewide.There was so much to include that it could have been a book! Lorenn Walker and I have been trading ideas about this and the paper was submitted by Community Alliance on Prisons and Hawai`i Friends of Justice and Civic Education. Anyway, here is a pdf version of the 13-page paper. It was due at 4 pm yesterday, 12/26 and I got it in and date/time stamped at 3:35 pm…what a relief!
Key points in the paper:
- Using 6,000 beds as the baseline is too much, our goal should be to decrease imprisonment
- Give Justice Reinvestment a chance! Hawai`I has yet to realize the benefits JRI can bring
- Contracting with CCA is a BAD idea
- There are many Correctional- and Community-based Programs/Alternatives
- Renovate existing facilities by using it as a job training program for incarcerated individuals
- Data requested from Department on number of people incarcerated, their classifications, locations, program participation and completion, and temporary parole dates
- Conclusion – use existing tools to release more people, increase programming in prison and in community, don’t partner with private/corporate prisons
Our hope is that this paper starts a larger discussion about justice including: the overpowering prosecutors, sentencing for nonviolent drug offenses, better and more community-based alternatives to address the social behaviors that we currently criminalize.
Let us know what you think of the paper. Meanwhile have a wonderful weekend, enjoy the holidays and be safe.