Categorized | Government, News

Mayor Kenoi questions plan to close Kulani Correctional Facility


County of Hawai’i Mayor Billy Kenoi today questioned the plan by Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration to lay off the entire staff of Kulani Correctional Facility and close the prison without first discussing that decision with the communities that will be affected.

“The plans announced by prison officials to the Kulani staff this week have serious economic and public safety implications for the Big Island, and the governor owes it to this community to explain how she will mitigate the impact of this decision,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We are deeply concerned about the welfare of the employees who will be put out of work, and Hawai’i Island residents have every reason to wonder what will become of the inmates now at Kulani prison.”

“While Gov. Lingle clearly has the authority to close state facilities, she also has an obligation to address the impacts of her decisions. It troubles me that this alarming proposal was announced only to the prison staff, while the community and elected officials of Hawai’i Island have been excluded from the discussion.”

One Response to “Mayor Kenoi questions plan to close Kulani Correctional Facility”

  1. Along with the social and economic issues envolved with the Kulani closier there are also conservation issues that the Lingal administration has failed to adderss. Kulani’s compound is situated amist pristine native forest and is habitat to some of Hawaiis last remaining spicies of endangered plants and birds. This is not a sutible location for a youth program. Why department of defense fumding is being alocated for this program is beyond me anyway. Why isnt this DOD funding going where it belongs in a time of war…to our troops or homeland security. We fund non profits to deal with this population. This DOD takeover of Kulani will possibly cost our state even more tax dollars than this administration claims will be saved as new positions for senior employees have been created and costs will increase with all who must be relocated off island. Then there is still the cost share portion the state will foot for this progrram. There will be no saveings when you also take into account gross and net fees payed to private mainland prisions to house Hawaiis inmates (as they keep jobs with our tax dollars). What there will be is a DOD training facility replacing the youth program as soon as publicity of “it” and the closier of Kulani die down. DOD officials as of last week expressed their need to retain control of Kulani over a twenty five year period. My understanding is that they intend converting it into a millitary instillation for training. “We the residents” of the Big Island have been targeted, decieved and lied to by this administration. They have had no concern for the personel, economic, conservation or social impact this will is, or will continue to have for this community.
    Inoye, Hirono and Abecrombie need to be voted out. Senator Inoye for funding this pet project with defense department funding, Hirono and ambecrombie for refusing to lift a finger to help prevent it. Department of Public Safety Director Clayton Frank and his Deputy Director Tommy Jhonson are also responible for this. They obviously lack any type of courage or moral fiber what so ever for going along with this travisty.
    With only five days remaining untill the takeover I have little hope that it will not happen, the only thing I find to remain hopefull of is that the residents of this island and state will learn from this and choose to become…. and remained better informed on issues that could serriously effect our lives,… and refuse to ever allow our elected officials to get away with something like this again.
    OH…by the way, thanks for the effort Mayor Kenoi.


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