Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Public Safety Hearing

Rep. Henry Aquino, Rep Mark Nakashima, Rep Karl Rhodes and Rep. Karen Awana listen to testimony from Director Clayton Frank and Deputy Director Tommy Johnson.

The House Committee on Public Safety and the Senate Committee on Public Safety and Military Affairs held a joint hearing regarding allegations of Hawaii inmates at the Otter Creek Correctional Center in Kentucky and plans to address these concerns and to insure prevention of future abuse. Most disturbing to committee members is that sexual assault is only a misdemeanor offense in Kentucky and the one case that has been prosecuted will result in a year or less in jail time for the perpetrator.

Public Safety Director Clayton Frank did inform the Committees that the majority of the female prisoner would be returned to Hawaii and will be housed at the Women's Correctional Facility and the Federal Detention Center. The Department of Corrections remains intent on closing the Kulani Correctional Facility in spite of growing opposition and reasons for maintaining this program as an essential part of the rehabilitation of inmates.

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