State Fact Sheet

Public Safety in Hawaii



Public Safety Performance Project > State Work > Hawaii

Following successful reforms to its criminal justice system in 2012, Hawaii developed policy recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of its juvenile justice system, improve outcomes for youth and families, and ensure policies and practices are grounded in data and research. If passed, these 24 recommendations, which come from extensive analysis and research done by Hawaii’s Juvenile Justice Working Group, are expected to reduce recidivism and safely rehabilitate more youth in their communities. The recommendations were presented on December 13, 2013 to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, and House Speaker Joseph Souki and will be introduced in the 2014 legislative session.

Prior to Hawaii’s 2012 criminal justice reforms, the state was sending about one-third of its adult inmates to mainland facilities, at a cost of more than $60 million a year. Following an analysis of the state’s sentencing and corrections policies by a bipartisan, inter-branch working group, data-driven policy options were presented to the legislation. 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. These 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.

Report | December 13, 2013
Hawaii Juvenile Justice Working Group Final Report  
A summary of Hawaii’s proposed juvenile justice reforms. arrow

Fact Sheet | June 6, 2012
Time Served in Hawaii   arrow

Fact Sheet | March 2, 2009
1 in 31: The Long Rearch of American Corrections   arrow


Oregon News

Press Release | December 13, 2013
Working Group Announces Recommendations to Strengthen Hawaii’s Juvenile Justice System
A comprehensive package of policy recommendations was presented to Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and House Speaker Joseph Souki to maximize effectiveness of the state’s juvenile justice system. arrow

Media Coverage | December 13, 2013
Civil Beat: Reforming the juvenile justice system could save Hawaii millions
Changes to how Hawaii deals with juveniles in the justice system could save the state millions of dollars according to report from working group.arrow

Press Release| June 20, 2012
Measures to Improve Criminal Justice System Become Law
Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed into law a comprehensive policy package contained in two measures –House Bill 2515 and Senate Bill 2776 –designed to lower recidivism, increase efficiency in the criminal justice system, and ensure accountability of people convicted of crimes. arrow

Media Coverage | June 20, 2012
Honolulu Civil Beat: First Steps Taken to Transform Criminal Justice System
Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a former probation officer, was clearly pleased with the passage of two "Justice Reinvestment" bills intended to begin to reform Hawaii's troubled criminal justice system. arrow

Media Coverage | May 7, 2012
Hawaii Reporter: Justice Reinvestment Initiative Legislation Will Make Hawaii Safer
The Honolulu Prosecutor and a few legislators have criticized Senate Bill 2776, which seeks to reform our antiquated corrections system. arrow

September 28, 2012
Public Safety Performance Project
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