“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” ― Hebrews 13:3
Aloha from the Transformative Justice Task Force!
We are a new task force with a lot of enthusiasm and commitment. We have members from Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island, and Kauaʻi, and we invite you to join us. When we came together, we were inspired by “Transformative Justice: A Brief Description” Here’s a brief quote from the article:
What is Transformative Justice?
Transformative Justice (TJ) is a political framework and approach for responding to violence, harm and abuse. At its most basic, it seeks to respond to violence without creating more violence and/or engaging in harm reduction to lessen the violence. TJ can be thought of as a way of “making things right,” getting in “right relation,” or creating justice together.
We then shared stories about the transformative justice we would like to see in Hawaiʻi and identified “eliminating cash bail” as the first project to undertake.
We continue to ask ourselves “How can we partner in the work of building safer and healthier communities?” Our current educational and legislative focus is eliminating cash bail and drawing attention to alternate ways of caring for communities in a true sense of public safety.
Faith Action community, let the words of Hebrews 13:3 sit with you and be on your heart, and consider joining us in this important work.
2021-2022 Areas of Focus
Education. The Task Force is excited to share with Faith Action member units and the wider community the many educational resources and opportunities we are encountering. We are committed to helping all of us learn about the injustices of the carceral system in Hawaiʻi and find ways to make changes for the better. Here we will offer video screenings, panel discussions, and community conversations for you and your neighbors.
Coalition Building. We’re connecting with organizations and individuals who have a similar passion for justice through transformation of the carceral system. We’ll post links here to them so you can learn who else in your community is focused on this important work! If your organization would like to partner with us, please reach out to email@example.com.
Legislative Action. Last legislative session (January 2021) bills on eliminating cash bail in some instances moved in the Hawaiʻi House and Senate but none made it into law. There are plans by legislators and community organizations to continue that work in this coming legislative session (January 2022). The Transformative Justice Task Force will build on the Education focus to empower individuals and member units to advocate for and support legislation ending cash bail.
Reform Cash Bail with Faith Action
Cash Bail Panel - October 27th, 2021
Panelists: Sara Gaspar, Michael Gaspar, Kano’eauna’inoa "Na’i" Awo, Candy Matautia, Kat Brady
Cash Bail Legislation Panel - December 1st, 2021
Panelists: Senator Karl Rhoads, Representative Sonny Ganaden, Representative Scot Matayoshi
Co-Moderators: Carrie Ann Shirota and Kanoʻeaunaʻinoa "Naʻi" Awo
Bail Reform in the News
Star Advertiser: Faith Leaders Back Bail Reform
"The changes to the cash (some use the word "caste") bail system being proposed in House Bil 1567 would allow low-level, nonviolent offenders to remain employed and in their homes. Our faiths urge us to call upon lawmakers to act and pass these reforms. Our hope urges us to call upon all of us to let. our legislators know that our values in Hawaii demand these changes. Perhaps most importantly, our logic shows us that this system is painfully, woefully, and very recently broken."
"For the past three years the commission has also supported bail reform initiatives at the Legislature that would require the courts to release more low-level, non-violent arrestees without making them post bail. The bills have not passed, although House Bill 1567 is still being considered by lawmakers this year."
"Faith Leaders Back Bail Reform"
Written by Rev. T.J. FitzGerald of First Unitarian Church and Rev. Brandon Durán of Central Union Church.
Keep an eye on the Faith Action Calendar for links to our meetings and events! Drop into our Zoom meetings and educational events at any time! We meet every other week on Wednesdays. And return to this page often for more about our events, opportunities, and actions to be taken!
Please feel free to reach out to the Transformative Justice Task Force with questions and/or willingness to partner: firstname.lastname@example.org