Governor Lingle suddenly and unexpectedly closed Kulani Prison, one of the most successful offender treatment programs in Hawai’i. Why? She said it was to save money. She then said that the facility would be turned over to the Hawaii National Guard to convert it into a Youth Challenge military school. However, this article reports that the National Guard has neither the funds nor the plan to implement this convesion. So what’s the real reason for the transfer to the military? Prison reform, environmental, Hawaiian sovereignty and peace activists now suspect that the land transfer may have more to do with the military gaining access to 8000 acres of Waiakea forest for training purposes. Stay tuned…
Posted on: Monday, December 28, 2009
Prison won’t be converted into teen camp until 2011
The state’s plan to convert Kulani prison into an academic and military training camp for teenagers is being delayed a year, according to a report in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
The Hawaii National Guard in July announced plans to open a Youth Challenge Academy next month at the former site of Kulani prison.
But then officials realized program employees must receive a full year of training before they begin working with students.
They also needed to wait for federal funding to be approved for the new camp.
The Guard now aims to welcome its first class of 100 students at Kulani in early 2011. It expects to enroll two classes each year.
The state shut down Kulani prison in October as part of broader government-wide spending cuts to cope with declining tax revenues.