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Thursday, October 23, 2014         

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State unveils plan to bring back inmates from mainland prisons

By Rob Shikina

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The state Department of Public Safety is looking to bring back to Hawaii all of its inmates on the mainland by reducing the in-state prison population by about 1,100 and building about 900 new spaces for them on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island.

Department officials laid out the plans at a hearing today before the Senate Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs Committee.

Public Safety Director Jodie Maesaka-Hirata told the committee that under a plan called the Justice Reinvestment Initiative the department could save $19.5 million in fiscal year 2014, $26.5 million in 2015 and reduce the prison population.

Maesaka-Hirata said the department, which houses 6,000 inmates in Hawaii and on the mainland, is also considering  three projects to increase space. The projects include expanding Waiawa Correctional Facility, building a new prison in Puunene, Maui, and either reopening Kulani Correctional Center or building a new facility on Hawaii island.






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