The Department of Public Safety has awarded a contract to Corrections Corporations of America to house inmates on the mainland as it continues to develop its long-term plans to bring Hawaii’s prisoners home.
The new contract, at a cost of $45.5 million a year, begins July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014, (in other words, until the next gubernatorial election) allowing up to 1,956 prisoners to be housed in the Saguaro Correctional Center (SCC) and Red Rock Correctional Center, multi-level security facilities in Arizona owned and operated by CCA.
The state has the ability to end the contract with three months of notice. CCA was the only bidder in the state’s procurement process for this bid.
Currently, PSD does not have enough prison space in Hawaii to accommodate the return of approximately 1,700 inmates in CCA facilities. Since Abercrombie’s announcement on bringing Hawaii’s prisoners home, PSD has brought 239 inmates back to Hawaii to participate in community-based programs.
“The return of Hawaii’s prisoners requires a multi-faceted approach of expanding prison space in Hawaii, creating alternatives to incarceration and reducing recidivism through community-based programs,” said Jodie Maesaka-Hirata, PSD Director. “This agreement will give us some flexibility as we continue toward our goal of bringing prisoners home.”
Maesaka-Hirata has recently toured the facilities to ensure all contractual requirements are being met – such as ensuring the inmates’ safety and well-being – and inmates are actively participating in programs such as substance abuse counseling, educational services, library services, religious services, cultural and arts programs and vocational training.
Hawaii inmates have been housed in CCA facilities since 1998. In 2007, PSD consolidated its inmate population outside of Hawaii from three states to just Arizona, where they remain to this day.
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