The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System

The below intern blog is a commentary on the unequal treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Hawaiian criminal justice system based on the article that can be found below the commentary.

In speaking on racial and/or ethnic disparities within the various stages of the criminal justice system, the unequal treatment of Native Hawaiians is often overlooked. Present-day reports, articles, and books discussing disparate treatments of targeted populations within the United States criminal justice system often emphasize the racial/ethnic inequalities faced by Blacks and Latinos as a whole. However, there is fewer dialog regarding the dissimilar treatment of specific populations within the system of specific states, such as Hawaii. According to the report at hand, Native Hawaiian men and women are both disproportionately represented in Hawai‘i’s criminal justice system.” Studies show that in Hawaii, Native Hawaiians receive extensive prison sentences and “cycle through the system more than people of other racial and ethnic groups.” With the exception of Hispanics, it has also been found that they serve more probation time in comparison to other racial/ethnic groups. Not only should efforts be made to target the disparate treatment of Blacks and Latinos within the United States criminal justice system as a whole, but efforts should be made to address other covert inequalities within the system of specific states e.g. Hawaii. As proposed by the article, “racial disparities must be targeted intentionally in order to reduce them.”

The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in Criminal Justice System Office of Hawaiian Affairs (O.H.A.)

Follow this link to read the report:

http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/10-09_rep_disparatetreatmentofnativehawaiians_rd-ac.pdf

The report examines the impact of the criminal justice system on Native Hawaiians. Detailing how Native Hawaiians are disproportionately impacted at various stages of Hawaii’s criminal justice system, the report also includes accounts of Native Hawaiian concerns with the criminal justice system. Findings from the report show that the criminal justice system incarcerates Native Hawaiians at a disproportionate rate.

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