Hawai‘i Friends of Restorative Justice 2020 Innovation Series

Hawai‘i Friends of Restorative Justice (HFRJ) is hosting a series of online workshops that will address how public systems can better serve citizens with thoughtful planning and action. Among the planned topics: education, administration of justice, and child welfare. Proceeds from the series will support HFRJ’s work to provide higher education for imprisoned women.

The upcoming workshops will feature internationally renowned speakers who will address these issues in an interactive format including smaller breakout sessions that will allow participants to discuss the issues and ways they can promote positive systemic changes in their communities.

Please sign up for our newsletter and return to this page for updates on the series, including workshop dates and speakers.

Our first workshop is June 9, 2020 with Ellen Langer, PhD., psychology professor, Harvard University, who describes her work as the “psychology of possibility.” The workshop will begin at 2:30 pm and end at 4:00 pm Eastern Time. Dr. Langer is considered the mother of mindfulness, having researched the topic for over forty years. Among her other honors, she is the recipient of four Distinguished Scientist Awards and the Liberty Science Genius Award. For more about Dr. Langer’s innovative and creative work please see: https://scholar.harvard.edu/langer/biocv

Our second workshop is planned for July 28, 2020 and will feature Shadd Maruna, PhD, author of Making Good: How Ex-Convicts Reform and Rebuild Their Lives. Professor Maruna who teaches at Manchester University in Ireland is considered one of the foremost experts in desistance and how people stay law abiding and clean and sober after imprisonment.

How Higher Education Prevents Recidivism & Domestic Violence

Research has shown that higher education prevents repeat crime. Becoming educated makes recidivism significantly less likely.[1] We have worked with several women formerly incarcerated at the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) over the years who have gone on to complete graduate school. Today we are proud that Daphne Ho‘okano is on our board of directors.[2]Daphne spent many years engaging in substance abuse and in prison but went on to obtain a masters degree in social welfare. Today she is a child protective investigator for the state of Hawai‘i.

Higher education empowers women, and empowered women are more successful at staying out of abusive relationships. “There is an inverse relationship between education and domestic violence. Lower education levels correlate with more likely domestic violence” (Huecker & Smock, 2019).[3]

Domestic and intimate violence against women (DV) is a terrible problem all over the world including Hawai‘i. At least 50 thousand women a year are murdered by partners because of DV, and in the US 50 women a month are shot to death. While DV has been a consistent problem for ages, research published earlier this year shows it is increasing nationally.[4] In 2017 six Hawai’i women were murdered in DV cases, and in 2019 there were three reported murder suicides in our state. Most imprisoned women in Hawai‘i have been exposed to DV in their lifetimes.

Rachel Louise Snyder’s No Visible Bruises underscores the need for increased DV prevention. HFRJ is motivated to prevent DV by providing higher education programs for imprisoned women. Snyder, 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 share a commonality: They each suffer a “lack of agency.” (Agency is an individual’s ability to understand that she has choices to direct her life.) Higher education will provide imprisoned women with a sense of agency and other assets that can lead them to more positive life courses.

 Success Stories

Daphne Ho‘okano: since 2010, after being released from prison, Daphne earned a certificate in substance abuse counseling. She went on to the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Manoa and received a bachelor’s degree in social work in 2017. In 2018 she earned her Master’s of Social Work from UH Manoa. Today, Daphne works as a child protection social work investigator and administers the Beacon of Hope House to support women transitioning to the community from prison and furlough programs. She is also a board member of Hawai‘i Friends of Restorative Justice.

curtis carrolCurtis Carroll: Mr. Carroll shows that no matter what your education level profound learning can occur for anyone in prison. Mr. Carroll learned to read in prison at age 20 and twenty years later he is a proponent of financial literacy and an expert on the stock market. His nickname is “Wall Street.” Here is his inspiring story shared on a 2017 TED TALK: https://www.ted.com/talks/curtis_wall_street_carroll_how_i_learned_to_read_and_trade_stocks_in_prison?language=en

[1] https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/23282764.pdf?seq=1

[2] https://hawaiifriends.org/download/hawaii-reentry-legal-resource-guide/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499891/

[4] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/domestic-violence-murders-rising_n_5cae0d92e4b03ab9f24f2e6d?0kk    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/12/us/domestic-violence-victims.html