Watch video of the ‘Ohana Ho’opakele press conference on Hawai’i island against the closing and militarization of Kulani prison and for a pu’uhonua (place of refuge and healing).
VIDEO: Ohana Hoopakele wants puuhonua at Kulani
Ohana Hoopakele holds press conference
November 20, 2009 – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO by David Corrigan
As the sun sets on the operation of the Kulani Correctional Facility, a group opposed to the closure held a press conference in Hilo on Thursday to present an alternative.
Ohana Ho’opakele made a statement to the media in front of the Hale Kaulike splintered paddle sculpture, calling for 3 points of action: keep the Kulani minimum security prison open and functioning, allow Ohana Ho’opakele to work with the Department of Public Safety to build a functioning Pu’uhonua at Kulani, and “No military training at Kulani by the State Department of Defense or the U.S. Military.”
The group pointed to a Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting held on Oahu on Thursday, where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was seeking the issuance of a Right-of -Entry Permit for Kulani Correctional Facility. Ohana Hoopakele said they fear the area will eventually be turned into a military training area.
The Hawaii National Guard has already said they plan to establish a Youth Challenge Academy at Kulani.
The group hopes the pu`uohonua plan, if it ever comes to pass, would serve as the model for rehabilitation across the state. The area would become a place of refuge, under the Hawaiian process of ho’oponopono (to make right). It would also teach sustainability, stewardship, and other rehabilitative programs like the ones already employed at Kulani.
Ohana Ho`opakele says they are getting a related bill together for the upcoming legislative session.