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‘Tough on crime’ policies driving prison population

Trusting in the Lord, I volunteer for the 39th year in the state Department of Public Safety as Hawaii’s prison population has been increasing at an alarming rate! This has happened in other states due to the “get tough on crime” policies enacting to the rising crime rate, fueled by drug crimes, that led to the need for more prison beds.

All facilities need adequate shelter, sanitation, medical and mental health care, food services and protection from harm. A rehabilitative correctional model based on the aloha spirit will best serve smart justice and the humane treatment of incarcerated men and women by correctional officers trained to prepare inmates for successful release into the community.

Also, focusing on reducing prison populations and costs, expanding community-based corrections, and supporting offender re-entry should also be adopted.

Henrietta Pua Hashimoto

Wailuku