criminal justice

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

WASHINGTON — For a moment, Congress had a chance to act on a policing overhaul, mobilized by a national trauma and overwhelming public support. Those efforts have stalled now and seem unlikely to be revived in an election year.


In December, President Trump signed the First Step Act into law. The bipartisan legislation was the first major reform to the federal criminal justice system in 30 years. The new law aims to reduce recidivism and lessen some mandatory minimum sentences. Last week the President announced a follow up effort: the Second Step Act.

athrasher / Flickr

The State of Hawaii moved a step closer to replacing the Oahu Community Correctional Center; an aging and overcrowded jailhouse located in Kalihi.

But there’s an issue simmering that some say is tied to building a bigger facility. It calls for our bail system to be overhauled. Fewer pre-trail detainees could mean less of a demand for jail cells going forward. Should our bail system be changed? Does it favor the rich and discriminate against the poor?

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Diversion programs are an alternative to incarceration. The idea is to divert people away from prisons and into treatment programs. They’re being used in a growing number of communities across the country and they’re generating some excitement here in Hawaiʻi. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.


Statewide, almost half of the detainees in our jails are accused but not convicted, many because they cannot afford bail. That’s according to a new study released today by the Hawaiʻi American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU report paints a picture of a justice system where the wealthy go free, while the working poor sit in jail. Not everyone sees it that way. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has more.

Department of Public Safety

The state’s plan to tackle overcrowding at Hawaiʻi’s largest correctional facility is receiving pushback. A proposal to replace the aging O‘ahu Community Correctional Center by building a new jail has been on the table since last fall. With the deadline for public comments on the proposal just days away, one group is petitioning the state to seek alternatives to new construction. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

The Conversation: Friday, April 29th, 2016

Apr 29, 2016

Changes to Doctor Compensation; Artist Training Program; Prison Reform in Hawaii

HMSA Changing to Capitation Payments: Scott Miscovich

The Conversation: Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Apr 21, 2016
Flickr - Brian

Effect of Global Economic Factors in Hawaii; Erhu Virtuoso Tsun-Hui Hung; New Law Enforcement Legislation; Encouraging Young Farmers on Kauai 

Tourism Impact on Hawaii’s Markets/Economy: Russell Price

Sherry Bracken
Sherry Bracken


   Hawaii's Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments in a Hawaii Island land use case.  But in an unusual twist, rather than the attorneys coming to the Supreme Court in Honolulu, the Court heard the case on Hawaii Island.  And it was at a local high school.  HPR's Sherry Bracken was there.

Justice Delayed in Japan

Mar 28, 2014
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  The man who’s believed to be the world’s longest serving death row inmate was freed this week. It’s a case in Japan that goes back nearly fifty years…and now has a new twist. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Flickr Commons / Valerie Everett
Flickr Commons / Valerie Everett

  Hawaii Island's judiciary has several specialized courts in addition to the standard court system.  That includes teen court and both adult and juvenile drug courts.  Now, the island's chief judge is planning to add another.  From Hawaii Island, HPR's Sherry Bracken reports.

Hawaii's HOPE Probation Program

Jan 6, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

A Hawaii Circuit Court Judge implemented a new felony probation program more than 9 years ago. It was the first and only one of its kind in the nation. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.