The recent downturn in tourism, Hawaii' s main revenue source, has resulted in no-growth budgets for state agencies. Even though crowding in Hawaii's jails and prisons is a growing problem, the state's Department of Public Safety has been asked to deal with a ballooning number of inmates with less program monies.
Because of its island economy, Hawaii faces economic trends that often run counter to the rest of the country. Hawaii, for instance, has a low unemployment rate, and entry level jobs are hard to fill. Most products are acquired off island and are very expensive. These problems have created an opportunity for Correctional Industries in Hawaii to form partnerships with government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector to fill product and service voids.
In fiscal year 1991, Hawaii's Correctional Industries employed 56 inmates. By 1994, that number had jumped to over 400. This growth is the result of a strategic plan that identified the types of work programs available to offenders and analyzed product and service requirements. On the basis of this plan, three innovative work programs were developed and expanded: Community Work Industries, Traditional Industries and Private Sector/Correctional Industries Joint Ventures.
Community Work Industries
In Hawaii, Community Work Industries is designed and managed to provide services to the inmate's resident community at a reduced cost. Public and nonprofit agencies hire inmates to work on-site at their location. The participating agency or organization provides work supervision and pays inmates' wages, which range from one dollar per hour up to a maximum of minimum wage. An adult correctional officer may be required to supervise, depending on the number …