CAP Notes from 12.17.15 Reentry Commission Meeting

on Thursday, December 17, 2015

(This is NOT A TRANSCRIPT – notes taken by Kat)

Kat attended the first Reentry Commission meeting of this administration last Thursday. There is a newly appointed commission with three of hold-overs from the past (not Kat).


Timothy Hanson – Hawai`i County Prosecutor’s office who works on Restorative Justice

Wendell Murakawa – Retired DPS Director of Intake Services

Glenn Hisashima – Retired ACO (Kulani) from Hawai`i Island

Blayne Higami*- Hawai`I County Workforce Development

Gary Yabuta* –Head of HIDTA (Hawai`I Intensive Drug Trafficking Areas (Former Maui Cty Police Chief)

Toni Bissen – Pu`a Foundation

Edward Jackson – who resigned because of work commitments

Kahu Umi Sexton – Native Hawaiian Church & Peace and Justice Center

Maile Kanemaru* – Weed and Seed

*These three members are holdovers from the previous commission.

The members were asked who would volunteer to be Chair. No one volunteered and then Wendell Murakawa was elected Chair.

Nona Lawrence is the staff member responsible for taking minutes and sending out notices. If you want to be on the list, you an email her at:



The current recidivism rate is 49.6%, a 27.6% decline since 1999.

Tim Hanson asked if there was comprehensive data (No, currently recidivism is determined in 3 year “cohorts”).



Pam Ferguson-Bray presented information.

  • DPS has established a victim services branch
  • SAVIN – the system that can be accessed at is now part of the Governor’s committee
  • Victim services in prosecutors’ offices provided 17,000 direct services to victims (federal grant will pay)
  • Restitution

o   JRI increased it to 25% (not mentioned was the 4% also taken on phone calls which the CVCC will not talk about after promising not to push it if 25% was passed)

o   Stakeholder collaboration (???)

o   Computer database

Amanda from the CVCC spoke about the restitution collections:

  • $1.7 million collected in 10 years prior to JRI
  • $1.6 million collected in 3 years since JRI (she mentioned that one payment was over $10,000)
  • New statute for furlough restitution

CAP believes that victims should be made whole after a crime and the work we do is to prevent victimization by promoting more services for those incarcerated as well as in the community. Victim advocates across the country have supported some progressive measures in this regard to prevent crime; sadly this is not the case in Hawai`i nei (at least not in Honolulu).



The department is “rebuilding” the reentry office and it is fully staffed with a manager and two staff members. They have included 4 components in Reentry:

  1. Program planning – service delivery and continuum to aid rehabilitation and reintegration
  2. Risk Assessment – program analytics and monitoring
  3. Victim services – coordination of SAVIN
  4. Classification – custody levels of those incarcerated

Nolan said that these programs have been “siloed” and the department is working on integrating them. “Even I can’t push the bureaucratic process as hard as I would like to.”

To date the number of folks on parole is 1,532; incarcerated is 6,000; and on probation is 22,000 (14,000 are sentenced felons).

Wendell asked if there is a process for reentry written down. Alan Asato (Deputy Director for Corrections) responded, “I’ll get back to you.”  (this generally means NO in community speak!)

Nolan responded that there is a matrix (which was not available to the Commission)

Tim Hanson asked how the Reentry office interacts with Intake Services (couldn’t hear response but what is interesting is that the Administrator for Intake Services was at every other Reentry Commission meeting – not this one, though)




Correctional Industries has a terrific Administrator, Chris Lansford. She reported that CI has:

  • 16 different operations on O`ahu and Hawai`i Island

o   Print shop at Halawa

o   Sewing (making uniforms, the women sewing the shirts and the men sewing the pants. The women’s sewing shop was reopened after 10 years.)

o   Farm operation at Waiawa (providing fresh vegetables to O`ahu and Kaua`i facilities)

  • 11 manufacturing centers
  • 5 contracts
  • 37 state employees who are paid by the proceeds of CI
  • 300 incarcerated individuals are working at

Last October a new policy was implemented requiring incarcerated persons to have a GED or to be in school to get one. Facilities pay 25 cents per hour; CI pays 50 center per hour for the first 6 months; and then $1.40 per hour “behind the fence” where the incarcerated pay taxes, room and board and restitution and 25% of earnings going to the accounts of the incarcerated persons working at CI. CI is pushing for higher wages for those going home.

Blayne asked how CI interfaces with the private sector. Chris answered that they have been meeting with businesses to offer their services.

Wendell asked for data on treatment for sex offenders. Nolan mentioned JRI and then spoke about work furlough saying there are 216 beds that cost $45 per day. There were originally 96 beds at Laumaka and then Module 20 reopened at OCCC and added 120 work furlough beds.



o   Kulani is being used to reduce the population of our men in AZ. (NB – 250 men will be shipped to AZ as they close one module at Halawa. Nolan said, “if we can meet the needs of the inmate, JRI will help.” Kulani now has a population of 190 men.

o   Federal detention center has 160 persons (140 men; 20 women as of December 7th) and cost $114/day



Brief announcement of the new prison. Interesting to note that there has been no interaction with the community. In 1998 the Hawai`i State Legislature passed two laws that are now in statute:

  • 353-16.37  Community partnering. Regardless of the method for funding new prison facilities, the department of public safety shall develop and implement a community partnering process to be incorporated into the request for proposal; this partnering process shall include a community hearing for the purpose of soliciting community input. Further, a community benefit and enhancement package shall be developed by the department and the affected community to mitigate the negative aspects of building a correctional facility in the community.  The benefit and enhancement package may include but is not limited to:

     (1)  Infrastructure improvements;

     (2)  Job training programs or improvements to schools and health care facilities;

     (3)  Social programs; and

     (4)  Other government functions. [L 1998, c 227, pt of §5; am L 1999, c 134, §4]

The legislative intent is clear. The legislature has directed the Department of Public Safety to involve the community at the earliest stage of planning. The Department of Public Safety has not done this.



Nolan announced that all 197 acres at Waiawa are now state lands. They had been leased with the caveat that they offer educational and training programs.

Tim asked for a vision for the land at Waiawa. The response was that it presented an “infrastructure challenge.”



Nolan announced, “I have leveraged Ho`okipa Cottage at WCCC, which can hold 40-60 minimum security women from OCCC.”



Glenn asked about staff training, which is crucial to successful reentry. Not much of a response.



Blayne asked if the men returning from Saguaro would be sent to their home islands. The response as that they are returning to the island where their crime was committed.



Nolan mentioned that he is part of the Housing Subcommittee of the Homeless Task Force. Tommy Johnson (Administrator of Hawai`i Paroling Authority) has lists of Clean & Sober housing where they send parolees.



When asked about the number of incarcerated Native Hawaiians, Toni Bissen, Executive Director of the Pu`a Foundation reported that 40% of the women are Native Hawaiian.




 Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

– Christian Larson


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