Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force

In 2010, OHA released the study “The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System.” IN 2011, OHA advocated for the passage of Act 170, creating a Task Force to: Formulate policies and procedures to eliminate the disproportionate representation of Native Hawaiians in Hawai`i’s criminal justice system by looking for new strategies to reduce or avoid unnecessary involvement of these individuals with the criminal justice system.

Section 2(b) of Act 170 continues: The Task Force shall recommend cost-effective mechanisms, legislation and policies to reduce or prevent individuals’ unnecessary involvement with the criminal justice system. The recommendations shall include estimates of cultural and fiscal impact.

Membership: The Task Force is made up of nine members:

  • Judge Michael Broderick (retired), Task Force Chair, CEO of YMCA Honolulu
  • Dr. Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, Ph.D Ka Pouhana, CEO OHA
  • Honorable Richard K. Perkins, First Circuit Court Judge
  • Paul Perrone, Chief of Research & Statistics, Department of Attorney General
  • Jack Tonaki, Public Defender, State of Hawaiʻi
  • Tricia Nakamatsu, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City & County of Honolulu
  • Cheryl Marlow, Adult Client Services Branch, Administrator
  • RaeDeen Karasuda, Ph.D, Criminologist member selected by the Governor
  • Martha Torney, MA, Deputy Director for Administration, Department of Public Safety

The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System report can be found here.

Over the course of the past year, meetings were held at the OHA headquarters located in downtown Honolulu. Below are the agendas and minutes of those meetings.

Meeting Agendas and Minutes

Pae ʻĀina Summits

The Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force conducted a series of summits throughout the pae ‘āina. The community was asked to share their manaʻo as to why Native Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in Hawaiʻi’s criminal justice system, and how government officials and community members can address this serious matter.

The summits were organized like a legislative hearing and testifiers were organized into blocks of time for testimony and follow up questions from the task force. Testimony covered a number of topics including:

  • Community programs
  • Cultural practices
  • Specific legal changes
  • Personal stories
  • Taking a big picture or very focused approach to issues (for instance presenting on nation building versus programs for children)

Testimony from the summits can be found through the links below. The zip files contain audio recordings, transcripts (in some cases), and written testimony files. The testimony PDFs provide a quick glance at whatʻs contained in the zip files. If there is a concern regarding these files please contact Jeff Kent at jeffreyk@oha.org

Audio & Written Testimony

Summit Research Report

Prior Reports on Native Hawaiians and the Criminal Justice System Reports