REPORT FROM OHA – Residents on neighbor islands will be giving a voice to longstanding concerns about the disproportionate number of Native Hawaiians who are in prison in Hawai’i and the U.S. mainland.
The 2012 Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force is holding a series of meetings aimed at identifying and supporting comprehensive solutions to this nagging issue, which has been documented by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in a 2010 report titled: The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System.
The meetings follow a two-day summit in June at the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu, where members of the newly-created task force began using their collective reach and access to engage policymakers and others in addressing the issue.
“The task force is working hard to fully understand why Native Hawaiians are over-represented in the criminal justice system,” said Michael Broderick, chairman of the Native Hawaiian Justice Task force as well as CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu. “The numbers are clear, undisputable, compelling and disturbing. Less clear are the reasons for this tragedy. The task force looks forward to traveling to Kona, Hilo, Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i as well as Kaua’i and continuing our critical learning process.”
Here’s the schedule for the five Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force meetings:
- KONA: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, July 7, 2012, West Hawaiʻi Civic Center, Building-G, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI
- HILO: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, July 14, 2012, DOE Annex, 450 Wainuenue Ave., Hilo, HI
- MAUI : 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, July 21, 2012 – UH Maui College Ka Lama Building, Room 103, 310 W. Kaʻahumanu Ave., Kahului, HI
- MOLOKA’I & LANA’I (via video): 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012,
Kulana ʻŌiwi Complex 600 Maunaloa Highway, Building-2, Kaunakakai, HI
- KAUA’I : 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, Kaua’i Community College, OCET Room 106 C&D, 3-1901 Kaumuali’i, Lihue, HI
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is a unique, independent state agency established through the Hawai‘i State Constitution and statutes to advocate for the betterment of conditions of all Native Hawaiians, with a Board of Trustees elected by the voters of Hawai‘i. OHA is guided by a vision and mission to ensure the perpetuation of the culture, to protect the entitlements of Native Hawaiians, and to build a strong and healthy Hawaiian people and nation. For more information, visit www.oha.org.