The statistics are disturbing:
- Nationally, the number of Americans in jail without a conviction because they can’t afford bail is larger than most other countries’ incarcerated population.
- In Hawaii, the consequences of pretrial detention fall disproportionately on Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, who are more likely to be arrested, detained, and unable to afford bail.
- Around half of the people sitting in Hawaii’s jails have not been convicted of the crime for which they have been charged.
- Hawaii spends about $53,000 yearly for a single incarcerated individual, or roughly around $60 million per year for about 1,100 pretrial detainees in Hawaii.
Hawaii’s criminal justice system needs reform.
Bills were introduced in the legislature this past session addressing this issue as well as permitting Hawaii residents convicted of felonies to regain the right to vote in Hawaii elections at any time after conviction rather than final discharge.
None progressed this session but will be submitted again and the League will actively follow these efforts.