BY STEVEN OWEN – Much has been written recently about public-private partnership in corrections and specifically Hawaii’s partnership with CCA to house Hawaiian inmates at the Saguaro Correctional Facility in Eloy, Arizona. Public-private partnerships allow hard working taxpayers to gain the best of both worlds – the oversight and accountability of government with the innovation and cost-effectiveness of business.

CCA provides a Web site – http://www.ccacommunities.com/cca-in/CCAhawaii/ – where those with an interest can learn more about the Saguaro Correctional Facility and the scope of our partnership with Hawaii.

For more than a decade, CCA has partnered with Hawaii to relieve prison overcrowding. In doing so, CCA has provided cost effective prison space and services that include meaningful rehabilitation programs to help inmates stay out of prison once released. In concert with our government partner, we provide these services because it is the right thing to do for inmates and taxpayers.

Because we know that individuals with greater education are less likely to commit crimes, we offer education programs including adult basic education, GED classes, computer and life skills training. Similarly, individuals with job skills are less likely to re-offend, so we offer vocational programs, including electrical, wood working/cabinetry, plumbing and carpentry, as well as meaningful work opportunities within our facilities to instill strong work habits.

CCA recognizes that individuals free from substance abuse have greater opportunity to succeed, so we provide credentialed substance abuse treatment programs.  We also offer native Hawaiian cultural activities, faith based programs, hobby shop, music room and video visitation.

Hawaii’s contract with CCA sets requirements for services and performance and then holds us accountable to them. One requirement is accreditation by the American Correctional Association – the nation’s highest standard of professional correctional services. This means that in addition to strong oversight from Hawaii officials – who have full access to our prisons – we are also audited and inspected by an independent team of professional experts.

For example, CCA meets all Hawaii and ACA requirements for appropriate staffing levels within our Saguaro facility.  Additionally, we offer comprehensive training of our correctional professionals, including a minimum of 200 hours of initial training, along with at least 40 hours of annual training.  CCA’s emphasis on quality training and leadership development help ensure a safe and secure work environment and stable work force of corrections professionals.

CCA remains committed to providing cost effective solutions that meet the State’s prison needs.  We know from 27 years of experience that to succeed, we must be accountable to our government partners and meet or exceed their expectations. We also know that when CCA and our government partner succeed, ultimately the State of Hawaii succeeds.

Steven Owen is the Director of Public Affairs for the CCA

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