2022 Annual Report

Aloha Friends,
We are delighted to share our annual report with you today, and so proud of the many accomplishments
of HFRJ this past year. Some highlights include wonderful results in our ongoing Higher & Continuing
Education Pilot Program at WCCC, the 14th Annual Parole Completion Celebration, and Huikahi
Restorative Reentry Circles and facilitator trainings. To learn more about these exciting achievements
and more, please read on.

We thank you sincerely for your steadfast support, without which this work would not be possible.
Leela and Lorenn


1. Secured funding from the Hawaii State Legislature to continue second year of the highly successful

Higher & Continuing Education Pilot Program for women in Women’s Community Correctional

Center (WCCC)

2. Participated in the Women’s Prison Project advocacy project to de-carcerate women in Hawai‘i

and succeeded in getting ground-breaking legislation passed to support imprisoned women

3. Continued to provide the Family Law Clinic for women imprisoned at WCCC

4. Held the 14th Annual Parole Completion Celebration in person at the Hawaii Supreme Court

5. Supported the Kalihi Leadership Academy (KLA), spearheaded by former HFRJ Treasurer Lisa

Jensen, which was began as an after-school program for youth in Kalihi

6. Continued working with public schools to educate students regarding restorative justice

approaches to conflict and assist them with adopting peacemaking practices, “whole RJ schools”

and solution focused practices

7. Conducted three Huikahi Restorative Reentry Circle Facilitator trainings

8. Collaborated and assisted others with research results and learning about restorative justice and

solution focused approaches

9. Held Huikahi Reentry Circles for 13 individuals for a total 57 participants

10. Completed restorative & solution-focused pilot project for Kapilipono federal court pilot program

11. Three academic papers published and one op-ed in Civil Beat


  1. Higher & Continuing Education Pilot Program for women in Women’s Community Correctional  Center (WCCC) – the Hawai‘i State Legislature appropriated funding for the second year of this highly  successful pilot program to provide educational opportunities to incarcerated women at WCCC. As a  result of this program, which offers financial incentives for incarcerated women to earn GEDs and to tutor their peers, 20 women passed the GED since the program began. Previously the average GED pass  rate at the women’s prison was only two women each year. Many of the women tested at the 4-6th  grade levels before studying for the GED! In addition, peer tutors trained 37 additional women to also be  peer tutors using the cooperative learning methodology.  

This is a three-year pilot project that we hope to extend to five years. The first year, September 2021 – August 2022, was funded by a State of Hawai‘i GEER grant. Former First Lady Dawn Ige was a main driver  of the GEER grant program that sought to find innovative ways to assist in making up for lost educational  opportunities due to the Covid pandemic. Funding for Year two of the project by the Hawai‘i State  legislature was supported by the Hawai‘i Women’s Prison Project and dedicated legislators including  Senator Michele Kidani, Representative Linda Ichiyama, and Representative Sonny Ganadan.

These promising results are just the beginning! We are confident that this educational success will only increase, leading to greater opportunities for the women to exercise more agency in their lives, leading to more peace and well-being. We look forward to their positive and unique contributions to our community.


2. Participated in the Women’s Prison Project advocacy project to de-carcerate women in Hawai‘i and succeeded in getting ground-breaking legislation passed to support incarcerated individuals – this bipartisan group of women leaders in Hawai‘i is collaborating to reduce female incarceration by 50% in five years and 75% in eight years.

The Women’s Prison Project (WPP) was named by former state Attorney General Margery Bronster and is led by former Hawai‘i Governor Linda Lingle. In 2022 the WPP successfully worked and advocated to get major bills passed by the state legislature to disrupt women’s gender-specific pathways to incarceration, improve the prison environment, and increase the chances for successful transition back to the community.

An important piece of legislation was passed with the support of the HFRJ and WPP. Act 118 (2022) Bill for an Act Relating to Reentry Planning Circles took effect July 1, 2022.

The new law funds the routine provision of Reentry Planning Circles to incarcerated individuals prior to their release from prison.

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that incarcerated individuals who participate in reentryplanning circles before leaving prison have significantly lower recidivism rates. Reentry\planning circles, or Huikahi restorative circles, allow inmates, their families, and prison staffmembers to discuss and produce written transition plans for an individual leaving prison. The solution-based planning process emphasizes that inmates are responsible for their own choices and helps them develop detailed plans for obtaining housing, employment, and other necessities. The process also helps repair or establish familial or other close relationships and encourages inmates to make amends for their wrongdoings. The legislature recognizes that supportive relationships are vital for an inmate’s successful reentry. Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to appropriate funding for reentry planning circles for incarcerated individuals.

HFRJ has been developing and fine-tuning this model for Reentry Circles for eighteen years, providing them for incarcerated individuals through grants and donated funds. The State has acknowledged, through this law (again, there was another law was passed in 2007 to provide the circles but the state department of public safety never implemented it). The circles should be funded by the State and offered to incarcerated individuals as a matter of course to facilitate their successful reintegration into the community upon release from prison. This is progress.

The state’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for a vendor to provide the circles funded by Act 118 was issued in November of 2022. HFRJ submitted a proposal for the contract that would scale the program up and enable another Hawai‘i non-profit, WorkNet, Inc., to provide the program after 2023. WorkNet, Inc. was founded by Chas Williams, who HFRJ has worked with for many years. It has a long history of developing and providing innovative services for incarcerated people in Hawai‘i and is the ideal organization to provide the program long-term. Should HFRJ and WorkNet, Inc. be awarded the contract to provide the reentry circles, HFRJ would remain a resource for WorkNet, Inc. as it does for organizations in other states and countries that provide the reentry circles. The State’s selection of a vendor to provide the circles is pending. 


3. Family law clinic for women imprisoned at WCCC continued to be provided – Dawn Slaten, Esq., continues to supervise this vital program that provides legal services for imprisoned women who often have custody, divorce, notary services, and many other legal needs that would go unmet if it were not for this clinic. Ms. Slaten, who has been practicing family law for 40 years, has managed the project since it started 10 years ago, accepting only stipends and honorarium for her expert services. We also appreciate the Hawai‘i State Bar Foundation for its support, and all who donate their time and resources to assist the women. This program is the only family legal assistance program for Hawai‘i’s imprisoned women.


4. 14th Parole Completion Celebration held in person at the Hawaii Supreme Court – On November 10, 2022, HFRJ hosted the 14th Parole Completion Celebration at Ali‘iolani Hale, Hawai‘i’s beautiful Supreme Court building.  The event celebrated the hard work of individuals that were discharged from parole and honored those who support them.  After having the event on zoom for the last two years due to the Covid pandemic, it was especially nice to gather in person for the celebration in 2022. Guests were limited and included former Governor Ige, former First Lady Dawn Ige, Hawai‘i’s Chief Justice (CJ) Mark Recktenwald, retired judge and master mediator Mike Town, City and County of Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm, Hawai‘i Parole Board Chief Fred Hyun, Parole Board Member

Gene Demello, Jr., HFRJ Chairperson Leela Bilmes Goldstein, HFRJ past Chairperson Rich Turbin, and HFRJ board members Larson Medina and Daphne Ho‘okano. Momilani Cody provided a beautiful opening oli to start the ceremony. 

The following were recognized at the celebration this year for their special efforts assisting people becoming discharged from parole: 

1. Former First Lady Dawn Ige – received the Patti Lyons Social and Restorative Justice Award presented by CJ Recktenwald for her work and support of the Women’s Correctional Center Higher & Continuing Education pilot project where imprisoned women are trained to tutor their less educated peers to pass the GED and take college courses from Windward Community College and Adams State University.

 2. Alisha Kaluhiokalani – University of Hawai‘i School of Social Work Senior, received the Restorative Justice Model Reentry Award, presented by former First Lady Dawn Ige, CJ Recktenwald, and Rich Turbin – for her hard work and caring for others. Alisha faced difficulties including incarceration, but in 2016 she made a plan for her future, as well as amends with her loved ones and herself, in a Huikahi Reentry Circle. She is expected to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Hawai‘i in 2023. Alisha became ‘olelo in Hawaiian, is a committed parent and peer mentor, and is determined to serve others. She is a tremendous resource for our community. 

3. Francis “Flash” Taele, JD – Corrections Education Specialist, received the Restorative Justice Corrections Employee Award presented by former First Lady Ige, CJ Recktenwald and Rich Turbin – for assisting in the Women’s Community Correctional Center Higher and Continuing Education pilot program that has been a huge success in serving women who want to further their education and lead more peaceful lives. Flash contributed far beyond what was expected in serving the women, making the program a prototype for other correctional institutions. 

4. Mary Scott Lau – received the Jackie Young Social and Restorative Justice Award – presented by Jackie’s daughter Nani Daniels along with former First Lady Ige, CJ Recktenwald and Rich Turbin – for founding and providing the Women In Need program that gives housing and other services for women reentering the community after incarceration. Mary’s work helping women, children and families demonstrates the values that Jackie Young lived by, which her daughter Nani spoke about. Larson Medina, who has worked at the women’s prison for 30 years, accepted the award for Mary. 

5. Hawai’i Foodservice Alliance (HFA) received the Restorative Employer Award – presented by former First Lady Ige, CJ Recktenwald and Rich Turbin – HFA was honored for its continual support in offering people with felony convictions secure employment, for being supportive of their parole conditions, and for supporting their overall needs during community adjustment. HFA’s award was accepted on behalf of Chad Buck, a compassionate and caring community member who founded HFA. Jennifer Hughes and Joslyn Aoki, formerly incarcerated women who are highly valued as a manager and team leader for HFA, accepted the award. Hughes was previously recognized for her service through O‘ahu’s YWCA to women returning to the community from incarceration in 2020. 

6. Maria “Maya” Datulayta recieved the Russ Takaki Restorative Parole Officer Award – presented by Fred Hyun, Parole Board Chief, former First Lady Ige, CJ Recktenwald and Rich Turbin. Parole Officer Datulayta was honored for her continual diligence and empathy as she assists people on parole to find success while they are on community supervision. She embodies Russ Takaki’s values by going the extra mile to help and is approachable by families, employers, and other community members who work as a team to help ensure a safer community.


5. Kalihi Leadership Academy (KLA) – former HFRJ Treasurer Lisa Jensen spearheaded a new after-school program for at-risk youth in Kalihi called Kalihi Leadership Academy (KLA). KLA is funded by grants obtained to provide Kalihi youth with a place to gather after school and engage in community activities. The program uses the 40 Developmental Assets as a framework to promote healthy decision making, develop social, emotional, and communication skills, and encourage community service among participating 12-18-year olds. As part of the program a stipend of $3.00/hour is paid to youth participants.  This has proven to be a powerful incentive encouraging participation in the program. In conjunction with the stipend, KLA has developed a partnership with Hawaii Federal Credit Union (HFCU). HFCU comes to KLA meetings to open bank accounts for the youths. It also provides financial literacy workshops to help them understand more about money issues.  

 KLA youth participants have enjoyed numerous educational and enriching experiences such as learning calming breathing techniques, journaling, and listening to speakers such as suicide prevention researchers from UH. These researchers recently addressed the group, presenting ideas from Sources of Strength, a best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. In another recent activity with the UH Energy House, the youth cleared space and learned about international gardening. KLA now has three adult volunteers, four interns and three contractors dedicated to aiding the worthwhile program. In response to requests from the youth, KLA is currently developing a plan to provide an extra day of after-school study hall for interested participants. We deeply appreciate the Rotary Club of Honolulu, the LUSH Foundation, the Community of Christ Church in Kalihi, Hawai‘i Afterschool Alliance, Chamber of Commerce Public Health Fund, and the Rev. Takie Okumura Family Fund for supporting HFRJ’s work to provide Kalihi youth with this valuable program. 

HFRJ also applauds the dedication of Lisa Jensen for developing and providing this leadership program for Kalihi youth. It is a safe and supportive place to go after school, it strengthens their connections with their community, and exposes them to new opportunities and pathways to success. 


6. Projects with Elementary and Secondary Public Schools – HFRJ’s school coordinator, Jeannie Lum, PhD, continued her work with public elementary and secondary schools to provide programs that introduce students to Restorative Justice approaches to problems, thus assisting them with adopting peacemaking practices. Dr. Lum reports that the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Elementary School project that involved 1) Assistance and working with seven teachers in acquiring, planning, & implementation of the DOE Innovative Grant 2021 for the HFRJ & peace garden project in Fall 2021; 2) Summer School Program 2022 – Conducting restorative justice classes with 5th graders (approx. 12 students) and the whole school peace garden rock painting projects for all grades 1-5 (approx. 60 students) was completed in August of 2022. The Pacific Gateway Center Restorative Justice Circles and peace gardens for kupuna and interested guests (targeting immigrants) continues amid covid concerns and delays. The planning for Restorative Justice peace garden workshops for Ukrainian refugee families began talks in November of 2022 but was delayed due to covid illnesses and is planned to start up again in the summer 2023. 


7. Huikahi Restorative Reentry Circle Facilitator trainings held – HFRJ provided three trainings for reentry planning facilitators that a total 48 people attended. Two trainings were provided via zoom and one was in person at the Kalihi Community Church of Christ in April and May of 2022. The zoom trainings were for a non-profit in Philadelphia, and for people who work with juveniles identified by the Hawai‘I state Office of Youth Services. All training participants in person and on the zoom practiced empathy and listening exercises, including increasing their mindful listening skills. Participants were also able to observe three live reentry circles (one online) and two in person that benefitted both those having the circles, and the observers. Participants expressed their appreciation for the highly interactive learning experiences. 


8. Collaborated and taught others about restorative justice and solution focused approaches, including travelling abroad to participate in workshops and conferences – In May 2022, Lorenn travelled to Berlin, Germany as a guest speaker for a conference and provided an interactive workshop on HFRJ’s reentry planning circles for therapists, psychologists, social workers, coaches, and others seeking to learn about unique solutions to social problems. Anouck De Rue, HFRJ’s 2020 Belgium intern from KU University in Leuven, co-authored an article reporting research results. She helped provide the Berlin workshop with Lorenn. A paper that Lorenn and Anouck co-authored appeared in a book published in German, and edited by the wonderful Christoph Klein who organized the Berlin conference. Lorenn also visited a German school in Berlin for students developing emotional skills. 

In June Lorenn travelled to Pavones, Costa Rica where she interviewed Flecia, a member of the Ngäbe Indigenous group. Flecia described the conflict resolution practices of her people. She explained that the chief of their village listens to problems and makes decisions about how to solve them. Flecia believes that the way conflict is treated now, i.e., through the court system, is inferior to the way her people handle it. She appreciates the value of people who have relationships with each other in finding solutions to problems, rather than having a judge or government official make decisions that affect the group.  

In October Lorenn traveled to Munich, Germany to meet with amazing German mediators Andrea Happel and her colleague and supervisor Jutta Wolf at the mediation center where they work with youth involved in the German criminal justice system. She also met with mediator Eva Weiler, who is also an attorney using a collaborative law approach for divorces. Eva has worked with people affected by family violence and is a co-author of a book published in German that includes information from her many years of experience on how restorative justice can be used in serious family conflicts.

In October, Lorenn also provided a presentation on HFRJ’s Huikahi Reentry Circle process for the Belgian university KU in Leuven, which frequently sends criminology interns to work with HFRJ for a few months.

In December, Lorenn traveled to Tobago, Trinidad as a guest speaker to attend the International Society for Family Law Caribbean Regional Conference. She met with a variety of accomplished researchers and practitioners working to help families and children involved in the criminal legal system. She also gave the keynote speech on the use of restorative justice in domestic violence cases, which must be carefully done. While some believe that the criminal system is the only alternative for violence against women cases, research, including that by Rachel Louise Snyder and Leigh Goodmark, show that we need more diversity, including restorative justice, in addressing domestic violence and violence against women. Lorenn also provided a presentation at the conference on the reentry planning circle model for incarcerated people. Finally, she also met with Tabago Trinidad’s Commissioner of Prisons, the inspiring Deoersad Ramoutar, who climbed the ranks in the prison system from guard to its director. He went to college while he was a prison guard and earned a master’s degree in conflict management and restorative justice. He uses this training with both staff and the incarcerated. Lorenn videoed the interview with Mr. Ramoutar, which will be published on HFRJ’s website after he has reviewed it and granted permission for its release.


9. Held Huikahi Reentry Circles for 13 individuals that their loved ones and a professional supporter (usually social worker) attended – a total 57 people participated in the circles – Providing circles for the higher and continuing education pilot project at the women’s prison was stifled due to construction and covid outbreaks there, however, some were provided and all participants found them positive.


10. Kapilipono federal court pilot project completed August, 2022 – the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i piloted, in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney’s and Federal Public Defender’s Offices, a specialty court program from 2019 to 2022. The project resulted in reduced prison sentences for people convicted of felonies. HFRJ was contracted to provided restorative reentry planning and a cognitive behavioral program as part of the program. The program ended because the newly appointed U.S. Attorney did not want to participate. She believed the defendants’ sentences failed to provide “general deterrence” (contrary to federal advice that incarceration does not deter crime) because the prison sentences of participants were reduced. The program was named by the late Pono Shim. The judge for the specialty court believed the criteria for allowing defendants to participate was too restrictive, and that the project should have been offered to more defendants. New ideas for providing restorative justice for the court will be explored without the U.S. Attorney’s participation if necessary.


11. Three academic peer reviewed papers and one op-ed on HFRJ’s work were published:

Walker & Goldstein, (2022), Creating Peace by Restoring Relationships for Hawai‘i’s Imprisoned Women with Cooperative Learning & Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice: Promoting Peace and Wellbeing, Velez, G. and Gavrielides, T., New York: Springer. PDF.

Richardson & Walker, (2022), The Cost of Recidivism: A Dynamic Systems Model to Evaluate the Benefits of a Restorative Reentry Program, Justice Evaluation Journal, DOI: 10.1080/24751979.2022.2123746

Walker, Kobayashi & Lum, (2022) Kapilipono: A U.S. District of Hawai’i Specialty Court Pilot Project, 57 Idaho L. Rev. 827.

Oped: Walker (2022). An Innovative Education Program At Women’s Community Correctional Center: Cooperative learning strategies and incentives help imprisoned inmates undertake academic studies to get their GED, Honolulu Civil Beat.


12. Published Summer & Winter newsletters and circulated via HFRJ’s email list  


In 2022 HFRJ provided education opportunities for imprisoned women that about half the population at the women’s prison participates in (100); hosted an intern from the Belgian university KU in Leuven; collaborated with other organizations for state legislation that was passed to fund and move forward the effort to get the Huikahi Reentry Circles institutionalized in state prisons; provided the 14th Parole Completion Celebration back in person at Hawai‘i’s Ali‘iolani Hale that 35 people attended; provided the family law clinic that about 100 imprisoned women and their families benefitted from; in the legal system with the eventual decarceration of women and girls in the state.  


  1. The Windward Community College counselor stays at WCCC assisting the incarcerated women; 90% of the WCCC peer tutors attend college after release from prison; women pass GED in the the Higher & Continuing education program at women’s prison; 75% of women reentering the community from WCCC from the education project are enrolled in college after their release from prison; & 75% of the women who enroll in Adams University correspondence program for the incarcerated complete their courses and earn college credits
  2. Finalize draft handbook with details about implementing the Higher & Continuing Education Program for other correctional institutions to help replicate in at least one other prison or jail in addition to the Hawai‘i women’s prison 
  3. Obtain funding for the Higher & Continuing education program at women’s prison for year two – July 2022 through June 2023  
  4. Organize and provide a Justice Innovations Summit at the University of Hawai‘i in 2024 – bring national, national, and local justice experts to share knowledge and find ways to shift systemic responses to social problems away from the criminal legal system
  5. Provide 20 reentry circles for incarcerated individuals and their loved ones in Hawai‘i  
  6. Provide at least five trainings for 50 people locally, nationally and/or internationally on HFRJ’s work 
  7. Obtaining funding for the WCCC family law clinic 
  8. Two papers are published about HFRJ’s work 


  • Total 2022 revenue received – $194,677.76
    • Funds from project grants – $154,310.94
    • Contracted projects – $13,821.50
    • Donations – $26,545.32
  • Total 2022 expenditures – $293,338.68

Respectfully submitted: 

Lorenn Walker 

Volunteer Executive Director 

Hawai‘i Friends of Restorative Justice