Community Justice Dialogue Tonight!

11-17-16-community-justice-dialogueTonight is our first COMMUNITY JUSTICE DIALOGUE.  This is really shaping up to be a great discussion with our community about how we address the public health and social challenges faced by so many of our struggling neighbors.

Flyer Community Justice Dialogue Nov. 17, 2016

The Honolulu Police Department has just released their latest data and it again confirms exactly what we have been saying…the state wants to build a big new facility in order to hide away our social challenges instead of addressing the needs of our people struggling with them. It is our mission to educate the legislature on the fact that ignoring these issues will only make matters worse for everyone. The data and research support what we in the justice community and the social service community have been saying for a long, long time. Join us tonight and share your mana`o (thoughts).

Below are three items highlighting HPDʻs report. See you tonight!

HPD says 61% of those Arrested Have Mental Health Issues
KHVH News Radio, November 16, 2016

“Most of the people arrested on Oahu have some sort of mental health issue. According to the Honolulu Police Department, 61 percent of the 16,000 people arrested last year were severely mentally ill or abusing drugs. Advocates say the figures point out failures in the state’s safety for homeless, mentally ill and those battling drug addiction. HPD officials say they are stepping up efforts to try and keep the mentally ill out of the criminal justice system.”

***

Lawmakers: Spike in arrests linked to lack of safety net programs
Allyson Blair, Hawaii News Now, Nov. 16, 2016

“Since 2013, the city’s policy of so-called “compassionate disruption” has increased the number of homeless sweeps on Oahu, spurring scores of people on the streets to shuffle from one community to the next.

“And state Sen. Will Espero thinks the sweeps have also contributed to an uptick in arrests on Oahu.

“Last year, officers made more than 16,000 arrests. Some 43 percent of those arrests — 6,880 in all — involved homeless people, the Honolulu Police Department confirms.

“That compares to 10,824 arrests in 2013. Three years ago, 4,330 arrests (or 40 percent) involved people on the streets.

(…)

” State Rep. Della Belatti, chairwoman of the House Health Committee, said the new figures show that more needs to be done to bolster the safety net for people in homelessness and those struggling with mental illness….”

***

Most Oahu arrests involve those with drug addictions, mental illness
Allyson Blair, Hawaii News Now, Nov. 15, 2016

Excerpts:
“And another startling statistic: 43 percent of detainees in HPD’s central cell block last year were homeless. Of those, 72 percent had a serious mental illness or substance abuse problem.

“Advocates say the figures underscore failures in the state’s safety net for the homeless, mentally ill and those battling drug addiction.

“People are in our corrections system because they haven’t had anywhere else to go,” said Trisha Kajimura, executive director Mental Health America of Hawaii. “They haven’t had the proper healthcare, including mental healthcare, or treatment for their illnesses or addictions.”

State public defender Jack Tonaki says non-violent crimes like trespassing, petty theft and disorderly conduct have become a significant part of his case load and have bogged down the system.

“The prison population is going up and taxpayers are paying for that,” he said.

“But advocates say it’s going to take more to make a lasting impact.

“What we need is more community treatment,” Tonaki said. “Especially from the standpoint that many of these people can be treated with medication and lead productive lives.”

The other imprisoned population not mentioned are pre-trial detainees. At a meeting last week, the director announced that 50% of people imprisoned are pre-trial…INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!

Join us tonight for a REAL COMMUNITY JUSTICE DIALOGUE! YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

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