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JRI Years: 2012



Hawaii’s prison and jail populations grew 18 percent between 2000 and 2010. Due to a lack of space in its correctional facilities, Hawaii contracted with mainland facilities to house approximately one-third of its incarcerated people. Between 2006 and 2011, the state’s pretrial population increased partly due to delays in Hawaii’s pretrial decisionmaking process. In addition, victim services were not sufficient to ensure that individuals responsible for making restitution payments were being held accountable. From 2011 to 2012, the CSG Justice Center worked with Hawaii’s state leaders to develop data-driven policy options to address these issues.


Signed into law in 2012, Hawaii’s Justice Reinvestment legislation—Senate Bill 2776 and House Bill 2515—required timely risk assessments of pretrial defendants to lessen costly delays in the pretrial process and focused probation and parole resources on individuals most likely to reoffend. It also increased the amount that people pay toward victim restitution and ensured institutions have the mechanisms in place to collect, track, and disperse these funds effectively. To achieve this, Hawaii instituted several policy and practice changes.1


After implementing its Justice Reinvestment legislation, Hawaii achieved its goal of reducing the state prison population by approximately 1,800 people as of June 30, 2022 and providing more victims of crime with restitution payments.2 Hawaii saved an estimated $2.5 million in FY2013 by housing fewer people in prison on the mainland.3 The Crime Victim Compensation Commission has collected over $4.5 million in restitution payments from people in prison, on furlough, and on parole. In 2014, Hawaii funded up to 22 victim services positions, helping meet the needs of victims in the state’s criminal justice system.4

For more information, see Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii.

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Establish/expand presumptive probation for some offenses
  • Revise mandatory minimums
  • Improve/revise pretrial release systems
  • Revise parole hearings/decision/eligibility standards
  • Cap revocation time
  • Require/improve risk-needs assessment
  • Reduce probation terms or active supervision period
  • Require data collection/performance measures
  • Improve restitution/victim notification

1 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2023, Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii, New York, NY: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, retrieved May 17, 2023 from

2 Ibid.

3 The Urban Institute, 2014, Justice Reinvestment Initiative State Assessment Report, Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, retrieved May 17, 2023 from

4 Ibid.

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