Research Findings on the Justice System’s Impact on Native Hawaiians

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has just released a study of how the justice system impacts Native Hawaiians. The findings of the report show need for improvement in how the system works with Native Hawaiians.

Here are a few of the most compelling pieces of information from the fact sheet:

Native Hawaiians make up the highest percentage of people incarcerated in out-of-state facilities.

In 2005, of the 6,092 people who were under the custody of the Public Safety Department, which includes people in jails, 29 percent (1,780) were in facilities operated by other states or private companies on behalf of states. Of the people in out-of-state facilities, 41 percent are Native Hawaiians.

Native Hawaiians receive longer prison sentences than most other racial or ethnic groups.

Controlling for severity of charge, age at arrest and gender of the person charged, Native Hawaiians are sentenced to 119 days more in prison than Tongans, 73 more days than Native Americans, 68 days more than Hispanics, and 11 days more than Whites.

Hawai`i has the largest proportion of its population of women in prison, with Native Hawaiian women comprising a disproportionate number of women in the prison.

While Native Hawaiian men and women are both disproportionately represented in Hawai`i’s criminal justice system, the disparity is greater for women. Forty-four percent of the women incarcerated under the jurisdiction of the state of Hawai‘i are Native Hawaiian. Comparatively, 19.8 percent of the general population of women in Hawai`i identify as Native Hawaiian or part Native Hawaiian.

To read the entire report, download fact sheets, and learn more about the study you can vising OHA’s web page on the Criminal Justice System here: www.oha.org/disparatetreatment/

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