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:


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:

Lorenn Walker, J.D., M.P.H.
P.O. Box 489
Waialua, Hawai‘i, 96791
Ph & text: (808) 218-3712
Skype: lorennwalker

“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.)


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

“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

“… 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

“…“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.

“… 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


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