Justice Reinvestment Report: Hawaii's Prison System More Efficient

Nanea Kalani/Civil Beat

Halawa Correctional Facility, run by the Hawaii Department of Public Safety.

Hawaii's prison system is housing fewer inmates these days.

Last year, the state saved $2.5 million by holding fewer prisoners on the mainland, and the state's inmate population decreased by 4 percent overall.

A new report credits this to the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) that Hawaii implemented in 2012. The recent report by the Urban Institute details how successful the initiative was for the 17 states that participated.

The data-driven initiative aims to reform the criminal justice system by making it more efficient, reducing prison populations, lessening crime rates, saving money and increasing public safety.

Ultimately, Hawaii could save $130 million by 2018 by reinvesting $42 million in victims services, prison and community-based treatment programs, and probation and parole supervision, according to the report.

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