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Criminal Justice

In 2010, OHA released the study “The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System.” IN 2011, OHA advocated for the passage of Act 170, creating a Task Force to: Formulate policies and procedures to eliminate the disproportionate representation of Native Hawaiians in Hawai‘i’s criminal justice system by looking for new strategies to reduce or avoid unnecessary involvement of these individuals with the criminal justice system.

Section 2(b) of Act 170 continues: The Task Force shall recommend cost-effective mechanisms, legislation and policies to reduce or prevent individuals’ unnecessary involvement with the criminal justice system. The recommendations shall include estimates of cultural and fiscal impact.

THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN JUSTICE TASK FORCE

Membership

The Task Force is made up of nine members:

  • Judge Michael Broderick (retired), Task Force Chair, CEO of YMCA Honolulu
  • Dr. Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, Ph.D Ka Pouhana, CEO OHA
  • Honorable Richard K. Perkins, First Circuit Court Judge
  • Paul Perrone, Chief of Research & Statistics, Department of Attorney General
  • Jack Tonaki, Public Defender, State of Hawaiʻi
  • Tricia Nakamatsu, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City & County of Honolulu
  • Cheryl Marlow, Adult Client Services Branch, Administrator
  • RaeDeen Karasuda, Ph.D, Criminologist member selected by the Governor
  • Martha Torney, MA, Deputy Director for Administration, Department of Public Safety

Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report

Throughout the summer of 2012, Task Force members received oral testimony at summits across the pae ‘āina. Following the summits, site visits, and the receipt of testimony, the Task Force undertook a deliberate process to summarize its Findings and Recommendations in its final Report.

Meeting Agendas and Minutes

Over the course of the past year, meetings were held at the OHA headquarters located in downtown Honolulu. Below are the agendas and minutes of those meetings.

Pae ʻĀina Summits

The Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force conducted a series of summits throughout the pae ‘āina. The community was asked to share their manaʻo as to why Native Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in Hawaiʻi’s criminal justice system, and how government officials and community members can address this serious matter.

The summits were organized like a legislative hearing and testifiers were organized into blocks of time for testimony and follow up questions from the task force. Testimony covered a number of topics including:

  • Community programs
  • Cultural practices
  • Specific legal changes
  • Personal stories
  • Taking a big picture or very focused approach to issues (for instance presenting on nation building versus programs for children)

Audio & Written Testimony

Testimony from the summits can be found through the links below. The zip files contain audio recordings, transcripts (in some cases), and written testimony files. The testimony PDFs provide a quick glance at whatʻs contained in the zip files.

Report: The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System

Publication Date: 09-28-10
Author(s): Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Justice Policy Institute, University of Hawaiʻi and Georgetown University.
Topic(s): Native Hawaiians, Public Safety, Adult Corrections, Racial Disaparity

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