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August 1966

September 1966

Calendar of Events
Introducing this Year's Unit Chairmen
President's Page (Mary George)
Go and See - Honolulu Jail
Non-Partisanship Casebook
Aloha to Our New Members
LWV-Honolulu - Board of Directors 1966-67
Magazine Bibliography - August, 1966
Wanted: Women to "Rush" for League
Don't Forget!

Go and See - Honolulu Jail

Wednesday, September 14, 9:30 a.m.


In 1953 the League adopted as a local agenda item, 'a study of the services under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff and support of such measures as will improve them.' The city jail was under the Sheriff's Office, and from the League's study came a consensus in 1954 - 'a new jail on a site which will allow for the development of a modern correctional institution providing adequate security, segregation, and rehabilitation.' When construction began in 1960, the League was invited to participate in the ground-breaking ceremonies. This invitation attests to the recognition by the community of the League's vital part in securing a modern jail for Honolulu.

For those of you who don't remember the old jail at Iwilei - or haven't lived here long enough to know about it - here are a few items which will give you an idea of conditions there. In 1954, when the League called for a new jail, the old one celebrated its 97th birthday. Of the 35 minimum standards set up by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and Jails, the Honolulu Jail met only 3 - segregation by sex, restriction of the sick, and provision for weekly religious services. Included in the 32 shortcomings were inadequate fencing, central location, cells that wouldn't lock up and had no plumbing, mingling of hardened and new offenders, lack of education and recreation facilities and absence of social workers. A municipal judge from the Mainland told Honolulu officials, "Your jail is the most crowded pesthole I ever saw." Answered Sheriff Kahanamoku, who for more than 20 years had been asking for a new jail, "It's worse than that."

Since it opened in 1961, the League has twice toured Halawa Jail, and the item was moved down to a Continuing Responsibility. Now, five years after its opening, we feel it is time to visit the jail once more with one of two recommendations to the League membership to follow:

  1. If we find it meets all criteria laid down in the original consensus, the Local Agenda Committee will recommend dropping the jail as a CR.

  2. If we find it inadequate as regards security, segregation or rehabilitation, the Local Agenda Committee will recommend whatever action it feels is necessary.

Included in security and physical arrangements are location, plant security, custodial security, cell construction and cell fixtures. Recommended standards of segregation include segregation by sex, age, and seriousness of offense. Witnesses and others not under sentence should be separated from sentenced prisoners. Known or suspected sex perverts should be separated from others, and prisoners of unsound mind and those suffering from contagious diseases should be segregated. Improved rehabilitation called for educational and library facilities, social services including counseling on personal and family problems, indoor and outdoor recreation under trained supervision, and varied employment of prisoners including industries of the type in which frequent turnover. is possible, maintenance activities with training value, and work that is planned chiefly for its therapeutic value.

So - on September 14, with these three things in mind - security, segregation and rehabilitation - we will 'go and see' the Honolulu Jail. This tour is by no means confined to the members of the Local Agenda Committee. Anyone interested in going can call Jane Hewitt (32-503).

It will be first-come, first-served, as we are limited to 12 people. However, if there are enough of you interested, we can arrange a second tour.

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