Public Safety in Hawaii
“With the enactment of these bills, we are taking the next step forward in our commitment to taking control of our criminal justice system, bringing back vital resources to Hawai'i and strengthening communities for people to return to.”
-Governor Neal Abercrombie
With insufficient space in its own prisons, Hawaii was sending about one-third of its inmates to mainland facilities, at a cost of over $60 million a year. In an effort to reduce costs and reduce recidivism rates, state leaders formed an inter-branch, bipartisan working group to analyze the state’s sentencing and corrections policies and produce data-driven policy options. The group received intensive technical assistance from the Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with Pew and the U.S. Department of Justice.
On June 20, 2012, Governor Neal Abercrombie signed a comprehensive set of reforms that improve pre-trial risk assessment processes; focus on high risk offenders and using swift, certain and appropriate responses to supervision violations. The new reforms are expected to save the state approximately $130 million over five years, and allow the state to bring inmates housed in mainland prisons back to Hawaii facilities.
Fact Sheet | March 2, 2009
Press Release| June 20, 2012
Media Coverage | June 20, 2012
Media Coverage | May 7, 2012