LINK TO 4-26-09 AP UPDATE: "Complaints of Sex Discrimination lead to rewrite of bill"
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Rep. Kymberly Pine (District 43-Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, Puuloa) said today that putting in statute that women prisoners should be brought home to Hawaii prisons before men is unconstitutional.
“This bill blatantly discriminates against someone for being a man,” she said about the Senate’s version of HB519HD1SD2, RELATING TO INMATES. "Women have made great strides to have equality with men in society and that doesn’t now give us the right to discriminate against men.”
HB519HD1SD2, includes the following section of the bill, which adds the provision of bringing women home first (On page 3, Section 2 (c), line 16): (c) The director of public safety shall return to Hawaii all women inmates that are detained or incarcerated in out-of-state prison or correctional facilities by December 31, 2011…”
Questions regarding the legalities of the bill were brought up by Rep. Pine, a conferee, in the first conference committee on held on Wednesday for HB 519. Senator Will Espero, Senate Chair of Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee disagreed. Today, the Attorney General sent a letter to Chairs Faye Hanohano and Espero concurring with Rep. Pine. Senator Espero said in committee that he disagreed with the Attorney Genera, who claimed that provision would open the state to lawsuits from men. The conference committee is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, April 28th.
Please call Representative Kymberly Pine or Chief of Staff for Representative Kymberly Pine, Sarah Hunt, at 586-9730 for further questions.
ED NOTE: It may be more accurate to say this bill discriminates against women by forcing them into substandard Hawaii prisons. Hawaii female inmates have repeatedly asked not to be sent back to Hawaii prisons because the environment at the efficient privately run mainland prisons is so much safer than the expensive and crony-ridden HGEA-controlled prisons maintained by the State.
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