After a string of murders, rapes and other abuses involving Hawai’i inmates in private prisons in the continental U.S. and a critical audit by the state auditor, Jodie Maesaki-Hirata, interim director of the State Department of Public Safety wants to bring all Hawai’i prisoners back to Hawai’i. Last year, the Lingle administration closed the Kulani Prison, which was a successful sex offender treatment program that had widespread community support, and turned the facility over to the Hawaii National Guard for a Youth ChalleNGe school. Prison reform advocates, environmentalists, Native Hawaiian and peace activists opposed this move. DMZ-Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina was one of three groups to requesting a contested case hearing. There has been no response from the state.
Maesaki-Hirata testified at the state legislature that:
She suggests re-opening the Big Island’s Kulani Correctional Facility that was turned over to the Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge in 2009.
This is a hopeful sign.