RJ in Prison: Huikahi Reentry Circles

Pilot Programming for Prison
Huikahi Reentry Circles

“The Huikahi Restorative Circle helped me go places I’ve never been before, take steps I’ve never taken.”  -Linda Apo   Click Here to Read Linda’s Story

In 2004 Hawai‘i Friends, in collaboration with the Hawai‘i state Department of Public Safety and the Community Alliance on Prisons, created and applied this innovative prison program.

The Huikahi Reentry Circle process is a pioneering work designed for imprisoned people, their families and victims to addresses the incarcerated person’s needs for a successful reentry into the community, crime and drug free.  The pilot program also addresses the need for reconciliation for all the participants.

Research shows the circles reduce recidivism and that participants have sustained satisfaction and healing as a result of the circles even in cases where the incarcerated person has relapsed/reoffended and is re-incarcerated.

Two papers have been published that tell the story of a family that had one of the first circles in 2005 and follows up with them five years later.

Please see the two companion papers published June 2006, Federal Probation Journal, “Restorative Circles: A Reentry Planning Process for Hawaii Inmates” and June 2010, Federal Probation Journal, “Huikahi Restorative Circles: A Public Health Approach to Reentry Planning” available at: http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/ProbationPretrialServices/FederalProbationJournal.aspx

Also please see:
Huikahi Restorative Circles: Group Process for Self-Directed Reentry Planning and Family Healing, European Journal of Probation, Walker, October 2010, 2:2, p. 76-95, http://www.ejprob.ro/index.pl/huikahi_restorative_circlesgroup_process_for_self-directed_reentry_planning_and_family_healing

The Reentry Circle process was the subject of a 2007 Hawai‘i state legislative bill that was passed to fund the Circles and is part of a grass roots movement in Hawai‘i to improve the prison system and to provide more effective prisoner reentry processes to include restorative justice (see: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site/docs/getstatus2.asp?billno=SB932).

People from all over the world have contacted Hawai’i Friends about the Huikahi Reentry Circle program and organizations in New York and California are replicating it. Please contact Lorenn at// lorenn@hawaii.edu// This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it// for more information about the program.

2009 Video of mock Restorative Circle with discussion by former Circle participants on line at: http://vimeo.com/6673308