Lawmaker Working with Stolen Stuff Hawaii Founder Drafts “25 by 25” Bill

Vice Speaker John Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, and portions of Lower Kalihi) announced today that he is working with Michael Kitchens, the founder of “Stolen Stuff Hawaii” (SSH) which is a statewide community watch group assisting victims of stolen property and crime. Mizuno drafted the bill because of his concerns with the crime rate and the high rate of recidivism in Hawaii. Mizuno adds, “Prisoners who are released, only to be re-sentenced in Hawaii’s correctional facilities or transferred to a prison on the mainland cost state taxpayers millions of dollars every year.”

Stolen Stuff

Representative Mizuno is working with Mr. Kitchens to fine tune the language of the bill after the SSH community voiced concerns over certain portions of the bill. Mizuno adds, “Mr. Kitchens and I had a great discussion on the current bill draft and we agreed that should this measure be scheduled for a hearing, testimony will be provided by SSH to amend the bill to remove the three strikes law portion due to its absence in current Hawaii state law. In addition, SSH would recommend removing the need to raise the monetary thresholds for felony theft in Hawaii as it is contrary to the spirit of the bill.”

Mr. Kitchens provides, “Working with Representative Mizuno has given our group of over 42,000 members valuable opportunity to voice their concerns as well as give insight into the problems our community faces when dealing with repeat criminal offenders. This bill is about dealing with the root causes which are lack of education, poverty, illegal drug use, mental health issues, and having the proper support groups that will keep those who commit crimes from returning to that life once their time is served.”

Rep. Mizuno introduced House Bill 2001 (HB 2001) which would establish a Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform in the Governor’s Office. Mizuno’s bill requires the Commission to develop a statewide framework of sentencing and corrections policies to further reduce the State’s incarcerated population by 25% by year 2025. The bill also directs the Commission to develop a plan to reduce spending on corrections and reinvest in strategies to increase public safety and reduce recidivism.

Mizuno provides, “I read that the ‘Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections issued recommendations Tuesday for steps the Justice Department, Congress, judges and prison officials can take to cut the prison population. According to the AP news story the panel says that if all recommendations were implemented, the federal inmate count could drop by 60,000 by 2024 and save the nation’s taxpayers $5 billion dollars.'” Mizuno adds, “The recommendations by that Task Force on Federal Corrections seems to be in line with my bill to reduce Hawaii’s prison population by 25% by year 2025. In reviewing the State’s probation system, the commission shall include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the State’s current practices relating to incarceration, crime prevention, and education with a focus on reducing spending on corrections and reinvesting the savings gained in strategies that will increase public safety and reduce recidivism.

In essence we want to substantially reduce crime, thus ensuring safer communities statewide, while providing an employment or trade skill to our people who are incarcerated, so when they are released they can secure employment, pay taxes, and enjoy life as a contributing member of our society.”

Mizuno adds, “Working with Mr. Kitchens and the SSH group has been extremely meaningful and rewarding, because this demonstrates the legislatures willingness to partner with the community. At the end of the day we are all working together to reduce crime, reduce recidivism, and reduce costs to our taxpayers. If we do this right we will have stronger families and stronger communities, which will reflect a stronger State.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I do this to keep the spammers away * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.