Ohana Ho’opakele (Family Rescue)
A Hawaiian Holistic Alternative to Prisons
P.O. Box 5530
Hilo, Hawai’i 96720
February 5, 2016 For Viewpoint consideration.
Stop the Prison-Bed Business
Before the State of Hawaii attempts to embark on fast tracking the building of a $485 million new prison without broad and transparent community discussion and without even an Environmental Impact Assessment or Statement, there are actions that we in Ohana Ho’opakele propose that Governor David Ige and the the State legislature take.
- Follow the Federal and many state examples of reviewing disproportionately long prison sentences and release prisoners in Hawaii who have already served long sentences. The Feds have already released 6,000 prisoners, as many prisoners as Hawaii has locked up today.
- Review the disproportionate number of Hawaiians locked up. Dr. RaeDeen Keahiolalo-Karasuda, PhD says that Hawaiians, who make up 20% of the State’s population, represent more than 60% of those imprisoned. Take action to correct this racist disproportionate imprisonment and length of sentences against Hawaiians. (See A Report of the Hawai`i Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, September 2011)
- Follow the call of Ohana Ho’opakele and establish modern day Pu’uhonua on all islands as alternative to prisons. Also establish community-based Ho’oponopono centers on all islands to help heal conflicts and resolve small community problems before they turn into major crimes.
The above actions will save the State money, reduce crime, and help heal our communities. 40 years ago the State’s Correctional Master Plan talked about the need for alternatives to prison, but the alternatives were never seriously implemented. Don’t make the same mistake again. Before building another prison, first, take action on the above matters and there will be no need to build a new prison. Hawaiians and the general public taxpayers will all benefit when we stop the prison-bed business. We ask the public to support this effort of alternatives to prison and urge people to contact the Governor and State Legislators. Mahalo and aloha.
President of Ohana Ho’opakele