State Rep. Glenn Wakai (D-Moanalua Valley) found the disparity in recidivism rates startling. "What's the public good of us sending them to the mainland to just house them there so they can come back X number of years later and go and prey on us again?" he said.
State Rep. Colleen Meyer (R-Laie) believes the numbers imply that prisoners housed on the mainland are not being rehabilitated. Public safety officials testified in Jan. 20, 2003 that an overwhelming 85 percent of Hawaii state prisoners need substance abuse treatment. Apparently, this treatment is either non-existent or ineffective for those housed out of state.
Severe prison overcrowding has forced Hawaii to contract with out of state private prisons. Currently, more than one-fourth of Hawaii's 5,093 prisoners are housed on the mainland, at a cost of $25 million to state taxpayers.
Not noted in the article is the fact that all the mainland prisons used by Hawaii are run by either Wackenhut or Corrections Corporation of America. Private prisons tend not to have programs geared toward rehabilitation because these programs cut into potential profitsyet no one seems to be making this connection.
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin
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