New private prison to house only Hawaii prisoners

AP reports via the Star-Bulletin (originally posted at
A new privately-run prison is scheduled to open next week in Pinal County and will house only felons from Hawaii.

The medium-security prison holds 1,896 beds and will be operated by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America.

The facility is scheduled to open Tuesday in Eloy, south of Casa Grande.

Corrections Corporation has a contract with the Hawaii Department of Public Safety's Corrections Division to operate the $95 million Saguaro Correctional Center, for which the company will be paid a per diem for each prisoner.

``This is the first time that the Hawaiians (in mainland correctional facilities) will all be housed under one roof,'' said LeeAnn Archuleta, the Saguaro Correctional Center's chief of unit management.

Archuleta said Hawaii has its own prisons but like many states, it also exports some offenders to privatized prisons in other parts of the country.

Because only Hawaiians will be serving time inside the campus-style facility, the prison will observe Hawaiian holidays, accommodate natives' polytheistic religious beliefs and even serve Hawaiian food.

On a related note, Kat Brady has an op-ed in the Star-Bulletin about efforts to better help island prisoners re-enter society on their release.

Update: Doug White looks a little deeper, including at the unclear use of the term "Hawaiian" which it seems to me violates AP's own stylebook. From 2005:
The AP has informed its member organizations of an update to the stylebook on the use of the term "Hawaiian." From now on, Hawaiians will be used only to describe members of the ethnic group indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands. "Hawaii resident" or "islander" describes anyone who lives in the state.

Previously, "Hawaiians" could be used to describe residents of Hawaii.

In this case, do they actually mean that the prison will have an, uh, admissions policy that "only Hawaiians" will be serving time there? If so, that would be quite an issue in itself. Perhaps Rosen will sue them? While with the highly disproportionate number of Hawaiians serving time compared to the overall population it is likely that there will be many Native Hawaiians housed there, and it would make sense to accommodate their religious practices and such, I would think that the writer's intention was to mean any prisoner from Hawaii, and that according to their own stylebook they misused the term "Hawaiian."

Doug also notes a potential conflict that he covered earlier in the way the contract was procured: "The Mayor of Eloy, Arizona is a Corrections Corporation of America employee, yet this deal is considered a 'government-to-government' transaction that is exempt from State procurement laws."

Update 6/26: Advertiser has more details, and an editorial.

Posted: Sun - June 24, 2007 at 04:03 AM    
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Published On: Jun 26, 2007 07:55 AM
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