2019 Annual Report


2019 Hawai'i Friends Annual Report 1.26 MB 508 downloads

This year's annual report details Hawai'i Friends of Restorative Justice's achievements...

Hawaii Friends Board of Directors 2019
HFRJ Board of Directors back row from left: Leela Blimes Goldstein, Daphne Ho‘okano, Lorenn Walker, Cheri Tarutani, Rich Turbin, President, bottom row from right: Lisa Jensen, Treasurer, Ian Crabbe, Tom Haia and Roger Epstein, Vice President (missing Madonna Perez, Secretary)


Mailing address:
P.O. Box 3654 • Honolulu • Hawai’i • 96811

New Physical address:
Public Policy Center, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
2515 Dole Street, Saunders Hall
Honolulu, HI 96822

Phone: (808) 218 – 3712


Aloha Friends,

        For a tiny organization run by volunteers our 2019 accomplishments are pretty amazing! We affiliated with the University of Hawai‘i’s Public Policy Center where after 38 years we now have dedicated work and storage space! We are hiring a UH graduate assistant to help develop a higher education program for imprisoned women to help decrease domestic violence; we were awarded a contract to provide a solution-focused and restorative pilot program that we developed for a new federal court project; we partnered with Malina Kaulukukui, a haku ho‘oponopono, and state judiciary’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Center to provide community conversations on compassionate listening, forgiveness, ho‘oponopono, and modern restorative justice at Ali‘iolani Hale; we provided a family law clinic and conflict management peer education program at Hawai’i’s women’s prison; we continued school projects; we held the 11th annual Parole Completion Celebration; we provided reentry circles, which I was invited to Russell Bay in New Zealand and Kathmandu, Nepal to discuss; and we trained an inspiring group of Maori restorative justice practitioners who traveled from Aotearoa to O‘ahu to learn about our reentry circles. Our saddest news is the loss of Jackie Young who suffered a stroke and passed away in January. Jackie strongly supported our work, she advocated to end the carceral system, and was a long time personal mentor to me. May the spirit of Jackie be in all our hearts as we continue looking for compassion and finding the strength to make life better for others despite setbacks. Below is a Lao Tzu message for 2020 that we believe captures an important lesson that Jackie, a 40+ year meditator, taught us. Mahalo for your support and kokua.     

Love & aloha, Lorenn                                                                                                December 28, 2019

Your own positive future begins in this moment.

All you have is right now.

Every goal is possible here.

~ Lao Tzu


2019 Achievements 

1. Affiliated with University of Hawai‘i (UH), College of Arts & Sciences, Public Policy Center

2. Developed curriculum and provide restorative justice (RJ) & solution focused monthly sessions for Kapilipono federal court pilot program

3. Continued family law clinic for women imprisoned at Women’s Community Correctional Center

4. Developed & provided “whole school RJ” and solution-focused pilot program

5. Provided three community conversations on compassionate listening, forgiveness, ho‘oponopono and modern restorative justice with Malina Kaulukukui

6. Developing plan for higher education program for imprisoned women with Pros & Ex-Cons group

7. Affiliated with Nepal Forum for Restorative Justice to pilot a process for women who have left abusive partners in Kathmandu, Nepal and explore other ways our two small non-profits/NGOs can help each other

8. Provided 11th Parole Completion Celebration

9. Trained 7 peacemakers from New Zealand and others from O‘ahu on reentry circle model

10. Published one academic paper, one book review, and submitted second academic paper for 2020 publication

11. Provided solution-focused mediation & restorative facilitation course & peer education for women imprisoned by the state and reentry circles for federal court defendants

12. Continued working with Dr. James Richardson, associate professor, Shidler School of Business, University of Hawai‘i, to research costs & benefits analysis of reentry circles

13. Assisting others on reentry circle replication and other overall broad RJ promotion


Details on achievments & goals met


1. Affiliation with University of Hawai‘i (UH) College of Arts & Sciences, Public Policy Center: This affiliation provides us with work and storage space. We are hiring a UH graduate assistant to help us with a higher education program for imprisoned women. Having a concrete address, work and storage space is a significant gain for us. Since our non-profit was incorporated in 1981 (38 years ago) we have had no dedicated physical location. We have done all our work from home and other work offices. We will continue having our board meetings at President Rich Turbin’s law offices in downtown Honolulu for our board members’ convenience. We can store our minutes and other non-confidential materials at UH now, but eventually we hope to have dedicated space with a place to store confidential documents in locked secure storage. Lorenn Walker (director) has been named an uncompensated UH Associate Professor of Practice. She has taught for the UH system for over 25 years. This fall she and retired judge Michael Town, who introduced her to RJ 24 years ago, co-taught a restorative justice course at UH’s William S. Richardson School of Law.

2. Developed curriculum and provide restorative & solution focused monthly sessions for federal court pilot program: We spent about two weeks preparing a detailed curriculum to help federal defendants in a new Honolulu federal court program to maintain law abiding behavior including staying clean and sober and making amends with loved ones and the community. The program began in November with clients who meet once a month with our facilitators. So far the program, which we received a contract to provide, is progressing well. The United States District Court in Honolulu is the second federal court in the US to include restorative justice as part of a court program.

3. Family law clinic for women imprisoned at Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC): The law clinic has been consistently provided at the state women’s prison since 2011 when HFRJ developed and began providing it. For the last nine years the clinic has benefitted over a thousand imprisoned women and countless members of their families. Every year the program provides volunteer legal services to the women with pro bono assistance with their needs including divorces, guardianships, powers of attorney, and adoptions. Dawn Slaten, a highly experienced family court lawyer and restorative justice practitioner, supervises the law clinic. The clinics last an average four hours each session and have been provided between 12 – 23 times a year at WCCC. Fifteen sessions were provided over the last year assisting 142 women. Hawai‘i State Bar Foundation has generously supported the law clinics for the last several years and donated $4000 for it this grant year.

4. Developed and provide “whole school RJ” and solution-focused pilot program: We expanded and further developed our RJ after school club at Kalihi Elementary School, made connections with other schools, and the Department of Education for 2020 projects. We are extremely fortunate that Jeannie Lum, PhD, has joined our organization and is coordinating our school projects. Jeannie is a very energetic retired UH education professor who taught educators how to teach peacemaking and conflict management skills to children. She is ideal for helping to bring RJ into Hawai‘i schools. Jeannie is also the principal applicant for a competitive United Nations program that includes HFRJ. If her application is selected, Hawai’i would become a designed regional center to facilitate and lead in promoting a culture of peace in the Pacific region and our state http://www.rcenetwork.org/portal/). Results of the application will be announced in early 2020. With her expertise, Jeannie has expanded and further developed our RJ after school club curriculum and added a peace garden component. She is also a master gardener. Jeannie, along with our treasurer Lisa Jensen and our director, provided a two-day training on restorative justice and solution focused approaches Kailua and Kapolei Intermediate schools staff. State Department of Education staff also participated in the training. Jeannie additionally helped provide training on the Working On What Works (WOWW) solution focused program to help build “whole restorative schools” from the ground up. A group of highly qualified WOWW coaches and observers were trained and we have more people interested in becoming coaches & observers for WOWW.

5. Provided community conversations with Malina Kaulukukui in collaboration with Hawai‘i judiciary’s Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution at Ali‘iolani Hale: We provided three community conversations in 2019 with Malina Kaulukukui, respected haku ho‘oponopono, kumu hula, retired social worker and social work professor. Malina partnered with HFRJ to educate our community on compassionate listening, forgiveness, and the similarities and differences between ho‘oponopono and modern restorative justice. Fred Luskin, author of Forgive For Good, also participated in the community conversation about forgiveness. Malina and our director also provided a workshop on ho‘oponopono and RJ at the 2019 Honolulu public health Harm Reduction Conference. Around100 people attended all of the events, and many requested similar workshops & conversations in the future, which our chief justice Mark Recktenwald also believes is valuable for our community. Malina and our director are currently working on an academic paper about ho‘oponopono and modern RJ, which will be submitted in August 2020 to an editor who has requested a paper for an international publication.

6. Develop plan for higher education program for imprisoned women: We are fiscal intermediary for a group that calls itself Pros & Ex-Cons, which has received a $120,000 grant to provide a higher education program for imprisoned women in Hawai‘i. Higher education empowers women and empowered women are more successful staying out of abusive relationships. Domestic and intimate violence against women (DV) is a terrible problem worldwide and in Hawai‘i. DV has been a consistent problem for ages, and it is on the rise. Most imprisoned women have been DV victims. Rachel Louise Synder, No Visible Bruises, motivates us more to do more about DV in Hawai‘i. We believe this higher education program for imprisoned women can help stop DV. Synder, a professor at American University in Washington DC and a former correspondent for NPR, studied DV for ten years. She notes that women all over the world who are in DV relationships (50K women a year are murdered worldwide and in the US 50 a month are shot to death) share a commonality: they each suffer a “lack of agency.” Agency is basically an individual’s ability to understand that she has choices to direct her life. We need to especially help imprisoned women increase their personal agency, which higher education can help them achieve. We are working now on hiring a UH masters level graduate assistant to help develop the program. We prepared and sent a draft memorandum of understanding to the state concerning the program and are awaiting its response.

7. Affiliation with Nepal Forum for Restorative Justice: We formerly affiliated this year also with the Nepal Forum for Restorative Justice (NFRJ), a small organization that shares many similarities to ours. HFRJ and NFRJ are now sharing knowledge and whatever human capital that we can spare to help each other to further promote RJ in our communities, and expand our opportunities for learning. Currently, both our organizations are interested in how best to safely help victims of domestic violence with RJ approaches. HFRJ’s director went to Kathmandu, and together with Ram Tiwari, director of NFRJ, they trained 25 people on our reentry circle model to assist women who have left abusive partners in Nepal. The process helps the women address what they need to repair harm they have suffered and make plans for achieving their personal future goals including being physically and emotionally safe. We developed a hybrid circle model and provided one for a woman in hiding from her abusive husband during the training. The woman continues to do well and NFRJ is supporting her in maintaining her safety and achieving her goals. We look forward to our partnership and creative endeavors with NFRJ.

8. Provided 11th Parole Completion Celebration: We provided this event for the 11th time at Ali‘iolani Hale, Hawai‘i’s Supreme Court. The Hawai‘i state Parole Office has become a stronger partner and supported an award for an employer who hires formerly imprisoned people. Mark Recktenwald, Hawai‘i’s Supreme Court chief justice, opened the event that approximately 70 people attended. Chief Justice Recktenwald’s kind comments that inspire us to work harder included:

Hawai`i‘ Friends of Restorative Justice is having an important impact in our community in so many ways, including through this event, and through hosting conversations around difficult issues affecting our criminal justice system. Many of the ideas the organization has stood for all these years are now becoming some of the central things that we’re doing as a judiciary, that we’re seeing as initiatives in our community. Whether we are prosecutors, or defense lawyers, liberals, or conservatives, we can all get around the notion that we have got to do better in our criminal justice system. We have to do better and there are ways to do so. Let’s learn and make it a system we can be proud of that offers people hope and not just desperation and failure. To me, all those things are possible, and Lorenn has been a leader. So I’m so grateful for you Lorenn and so thankful for you to give us this opportunity to host this event here. 


2019 Parole Completion Celebration awardees:

Yolanda Nasser, Assistant Supervisor Kitchen Service, who was discharged from parole in 2018 with little more than determination, persistence and a big heart. Today she is a role model for others on parole. Yolanda is receiving the Restorative Justice Community Reentry.

Malina Kaulukukui, Haku Ho‘oponopono, Kumu Hula, and Retired University of Hawai‘i Social Work Professor for her contributions helping imprisoned women and the community to learn about Hawaiian culture to help people heal, find peace and create a more just society—receiving the Patti Lyons Social and Restorative Justice Award. This award is named for Hawai‘i social worker pioneer Patti Lyons who has dedicated her life to helping children and families live safely and happily. Among her many accomplishments, Patti was instrumental in introducing the law that enacted Hawai‘i state Child Protection Services.

Rhonda Loo, Maui Circuit Court Judge, for her extra humanitarian efforts helping people harmed by wrongdoing and those who caused it to communicate, find understanding, and to heal. Judge Loo is highly respected by those who she rules in favor of and those she does not, along with the community and her colleagues on and off the bench. Judge Loo is receiving the Hawai‘i State Judicial Innovation & Restorative Award.

Kevin Chang, United States Magistrate Judge, for his many years helping with kindness and respect all the federal justice system customers and providers who have appeared before him. Judge Chang has gone out of his way to help people in a Federal Reentry Program and has stayed in touch with them helping one get a federal clearance and another an internship. He embodies compassion. He is receiving the Federal Judicial Innovation & Restorative Award. He is off island tonight and accepting his award is the Honorable US District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi.

Hardware Hawai‘i, is a special local business that goes out of its way to hire people formerly incarcerated and convicted of felonies—receiving the Restorative Employer Award. Accepting its award tonight is Hawai‘i Parole Board Chief Fred Hyun who especially understands the importance of second chances and the opportunity of employment.

Gwenson Yuen, Hawai‘i State Parole Officer, selected by managers and administrators for his excellent parole officer work reflecting this award’s special name sake, the Russ Takaki Restorative Parole Officer Award. The award is named for the late Russ Takaki who was chief of Hawai‘i’s parole board in the 1970s when Hawai‘i had the lowest recidivism rate of only 5% in the US. Russ served in WWII and was a famous big wave surfer. He personally helped people on parole find employment, invited them to have dinner with his family, and sometimes took them surfing. 

9. Trained Maori RJ facilitators and others on reentry circles & Native Hawaiian peacemaking: Seven Maori women, who are experienced RJ practitioners, came from Aotearoa for training they requested on the reentry circles and Native Hawaiian peacemaking practices, which Malina Kaulukukui provided at UH’s Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Others including Department of Education staff, teachers and a psychologist also attended this three-day training that was held two days at Ali‘iolani Hale and one day at UH. The training was well received and we too learned a great deal from the Maori practitioners and others attending the training.

10. Academic paper and book review published, and second academic paper under review for publication: Academic paper published—Walker, L. & Bilmes Goldstein, L. (2019). The Implications of Hawai‘i’s Multicultural Contexts and Victim Participants’ Shuttled Information Provided for Restorative Reentry Planning Circles, In Global Perspectives on Victimization Analysis and Prevention, Ed. Johnson Ayodele, IGI Global Publications; Walker, L. (2019). Book review published: Safeguarding and Empowering Crime Victims: Training manual: Restorative Justice and the Victims’ Directive, Gavrielides & Lyon. Academic paper submitted for publication—Walker, L. & Kobayashi, L., Hawai‘i Federal Court Reentry Circle Pilot Program.

11. Spring 2019 solution-focused mediation & restorative facilitation course, peer education & reentry circles provided: A third group of women incarcerated at WCCC were trained in an intensive skills course on solution-focused mediation & restorative facilitation. The 12 women trained learned to become peer educators in conflict management. They completed a 32-hour course provided over the spring semester. The course concluded with them providing a two-hour workshop on conflict management for other imprisoned women in the general population. In addition to the course graduates, 20 women participated in the workshop this year learning from the peer educators. We participated in the workshop only as observers and participants, not as leaders. The peer educators conducted the workshop on their own and did a wonderful job. Books, writing paper, folders and pens were provided to the women throughout the course and to the workshop participants throughout the course and workshop. The women were also able to meet with Jennifer Thompson, Picking Cotton, came to a session with the 12 trained peer educators and shared her experiences misidentifying the man who assaulted her and starting an RJ program to help others harmed by crime. The women were able to read Thompson’s book before they met with her. The 12 women also received modified reentry circles during their training to further teach them the skills and also give them the opportunity to make their own plans for reentry including how they might make any amends they want to extend to loved ones and the community at large. We also provided seven circles for federal court defendants that a total 41 people participated in and while we have applications for women imprisoned by the state we are awaiting funding to provide them.

12. Research on cost and benefits of the reentry circles: After 18 months of requesting data and entering a Memorandum of Understanding with the state, it has finally released some data necessary to determine the costs and benefits of the reentry circles. The circles were independently evaluated in 2017 by Dr. Janet Davidson at Chaminade University of Honolulu and shown to reduce recidivism. UH business professor James Richardson is our pro bono research partner in this effort who is leading this study and handling the data and analysis.

 13. Assisting others on reentry circle replication and RJ education: Our reentry circle has been replicated in whole or in part in a number of other countries and states including France, Hungary, Nepal, Bermuda, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Washington DC, Alaska, California, New York and Pennsylvania. This year we advised internationally on the reentry circles helping people in France, Hungary, New Zealand and Nepal with the HFRJ director traveling to the last two locations. She had telephone conferences with the people in France and Hungary where the reentry circles are being replicated.

For RJ education, we hosted a New Zealand bachelor’s degree graduate for a month long internship. The intern shadowed HFRJ’s director and also helped with research for the paper we currently have in review about the federal court reentry circle program.

HFRJ’s Vice President Roger Epstein and the director also testified about a flawed RJ bill in the legislature. We suggested could be amended, but it was withdrawn by the last committee that reviewed it. The chairperson of the committee who withdrew it said eventually an RJ bill will be passed. A bill we wrote some years ago for juveniles was implemented and this year the HFRJ director was asked by a legislative office, after the session ended, for advice on another bill to possibly be submitted 2020 session. The need to educate the public is apparent. The prosecutors from O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Hilo suggested in their testimony against the RJ bill this year, that RJ may only be initiated by and benefit only crime victims. This prompted the director to write an op-ed for Honolulu’s StarAdvertiser newspaper showing why the prosecutors are incorrect. She co-authored a second op-ed with Kat Brady about the value of RJ, rather than incarceration, to prevent crime. As a result too of the prosecutors’ positions, HFRJ is further committed to advocating strongly that RJ should not be embedded in law enforcement offices. Early in the development of RJ in Australia, there was an effort by police to provide it, which was eventually stopped. RJ processes should be supplied by independent organizations to maintain its true spirit and not reflect any inherent biases of groups. RJ is meant to help all people affected by wrongdoing and injustice, not only select people.

Other educational endeavors undertaken this year includes the director providing interviews for Restorative Justice on the Rise; facilitating a reentry circle at Alaska’s maximum security prison that was aired by CNN; being on a panel at UH law school about ending the carceral system that was arranged by the Matsunaga Peace Institute and Maya Sotero-Ng; arranging a talk hosted by HFRJ, the Judiciary History Center, and the judiciary’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Center, by Clivia von Dewitz, a German juvenile court judge, who spoke about her experiences with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and things she’s learned on sabbatical for the last two years studying RJ internationally.

 HFRJ has also agreed to host an undergraduate intern from KU Leuven University, Institute of Criminology, in Belgium for a few months in 2020. Leuven is home to the European Forum for Restorative Justice.

Overall Impact on the Community

We’re helping our federal court, schools, people in prison, and many others learn about RJ. We heard often from individuals in our community, nationally, and abroad too who were touched by our work. This year we are deeply humbled and honored by Chief Justice Recktenwald’s above quoted comments, which include: Many of the ideas the organization [HFRJ] has stood for all these years are now becoming some of the central things that we’re doing as a judiciary, that we’re seeing as initiatives in our community.

HFRJ Goals for 2020

1. Continue working with Department of Education (DOE) and schools– continue working with DOE and Kalihi public schools to better understand their needs, how RJ can assist students and staff, and how to measure outcomes of RJ philosophy and practices when schools apply it.

2. Continue the higher education program for imprisoned women—develop program with Pros & Ex-Cons group including hire and work with graduate assistant from UH. Write grant proposal to obtain more funds to further develop the program.

3. Continue assisting others replicating the reentry circles and continue assisting students to learn about RJ & HFRJ work—we are in contact with the people all over the world interested in the circles and we will continue assisting them and in 2020 we plan to host an undergraduate criminology student from KU Leuven University, Belgium. Engage in other educational endeavors that arise.

4. Provide 12th Parole Completion Celebration—with Hawai‘i state Parole Office supporting an award again—tentative date Wednesday October 7, 2020.

5. Continue providing family law clinic at WCCC.

6. Provide two more community talking circles and/or conflict management workshops in Honolulu— provide in collaboration with the judiciary’s Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution & Malina Kaulukukui.

 7. Collaborate with and train Hawai‘i peacemakers—train more facilitators, coaches and observers to work with schools especially.

 8. Research cost and benefits of reentry circles that reduce recidivism–assist Dr. Richardson from UH Shidler School of Business, to research the costs and benefits of our reentry circles and determine if and how much they might save the state compared to incarceration. Janet Davidson, Phd, showed the circles reduce recidivism.

 9. Academic papers for 2020—by June, paper with judge Kobayashi submitted is published; by August complete and submit paper with Malina Kaulukukui on the similarities and differences between ho‘oponopono and modern RJ; and by December, if Professor Richardson completes research on the costs and benefits of the reentry circles, write a paper with him and submit for publication.

 10. Explore providing an online course through UH on RJ—discuss and if feasible provide an online course on RJ.

 11. Work with legislature on any RJ bills submitted—HFRJ director met with a legislative office on a potential bill for the 2020 session.

 12. Explore resources to hire an administrative director for HFRJ—the director needs help managing the administrative work for the organization.


2019 expenditures and income

Overall income, including Pros & Ex-Cons $120,000 grant, was $184,224 and our expenses were  $117,804 that includes $91,189 remaining currently in the Pros & Ex-Cons fund. Our organizational expenses to provide services were $49,988, which includes $26,522 to hire a UH graduate student to help develop the higher education program from the Pros & Ex-Cons funds. Total costs for materials for participants in programs was $4251. Materials include $120 for twelve $20 stipends for the imprisoned women who completed the peer education program, $267 for books for the women, two other people incarcerated, and $40 for a book for someone who works in the justice system. School materials totaled $1500 including backpacks for students and gardening tools/materials. Our overhead was $6,898 in 2019.

Respectfully submitted:

Lorenn Walker

Volunteer Director

Hawai’i Friends of Restorative Justice                       Date:  December 27, 2019

hawaii friends of restorative justicerj circle

 Restorative Community Talking Circle

Ali‘iolani Hale, Hawai’i Supreme Court