Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday promised to bring home all Hawaii inmates housed in mainland prisons

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday promised to bring home all Hawaii inmates housed in mainland prisons.
From: KITV (ABC)
Dec 16, 2010

“I intend to work as quickly as I can to bring all the prisoners back. I don’t want to send anybody out of the state. It is dysfunctional,” said Abercrombie.

Abercrombie said, “I will be working with the Department of Public Safety, and with the Judiciary and the Legislature to forge a comprehensive and integrated program to deal with the question of incarceration.”

Abercrombie initially spoke of his dedication to bringing the Hawaii prisoners home Tuesday, when KITV4 asked him for a response to a lawsuit filed this week by 18 Hawaii inmates alleging brutality at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona where they are housed.KITV4 was the first to report on the lawsuit.Abercrombie pledged in his campaign to return all Hawaii prisoners to the islands.

But he said Tuesday the alleged violence at Saguaro highlights why it is wrong to have prisoners on the mainland.

And he reiterated his criticism at a news conference Wednesday.

“It is dysfunctional to send people out of the state. It costs money, it costs lives, it costs communities. It destroys families. It is dysfunctional all the way around, socially, economically, politically and morally,” said Abercrombie.Saguaro was built to house Hawaii inmates because of prison overcrowding in Hawaii.

About 1,900 Hawaii prisoners are at Saguaro and another 50 at Red Rock Correctional Center in Arizona.In their lawsuit, 18 Hawaii inmates at Saguaro claimed they were stripped, beaten and kicked by guards.

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