Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Intentionally Increasing Failure Rates

State prisons are supposed to decrease recidivism rates, since inmates who do not commit future crimes make society safer.

But private prisons have a duty to maximize stockholder returns and the returns are greater when there are more inmates serving longer terms and when the public is afraid. In addition, sending inmates to the mainland private prisons have resulted in the formation of multiple gangs which does not bode well for future crime prevention and public safety.

In Hawai`i recidivism rates vary. In the 1970s the recidivism rate was about 5%. It hit a peak of about 70% a few years ago and has since dropped to around 60%. Some specific Hawaii-based programs such as the defunded MEO Best program and the Judiciary's HOPE Program run by Judge Steve Alm have much lower rates that traditional State programs.

The Community Alliance on Prisons has published a Smart Justice Research Paper.

Henry Curtis

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