In an effort to help individuals reenter the community after incarceration, the Department of Public Safety and Reentry Commission completed two plans to effectuate implementation of the comprehensive offender reentry system. 

The 2019 Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan was released at the beginning of the year and the Reentry Commission Strategic Plan was adopted May 2018.

“The Reentry Commission was established to work with PSD to monitor and review its reentry programs and to ensure that the comprehensive offender reentry system is implemented; to guide the work, a strategic plan was necessary,” Toni Bissen, co-chair of the Commission said.  “The key is to work together, only together as State and Community can we bring about reentry success in Hawaii, and the completion of both plans demonstrate the effectiveness of collaboration," Bissen said.  

The Reentry Coordination Office was created to address reentry efforts statewide and developed the CORP. The goal of the CORP is to build a successful and sustainable reentry process by ensuring the implementation, monitoring, and review of the comprehensive offender reentry system, while making recommendations for evidence-based improvements to existing programs and for additional, new programs and services. 

The CORP’s Reentry Strategies for Success include four phases of reentry, six areas of focus and a total of 51 reentry strategies the Reentry Commission recommends to produce desired objectives and outcomes for reentry success.

The four phases of reentry according to the Department of Public Safety are intake, prison and jail planning phase, transition and release planning phase, and the parole and post-release phase.

The CORP includes six areas of focus for reentry: 

1. Support for victims

2. Public safety

3. Housing

4. Health care

5. Education, employment and vocational training

6. Family and community support

“Over the past several years, the Public Safety Department has developed a reentry foundation that will continue to adapt and change with implementation of evidence-based practices. Successful offender reentry comes with significant challenges that will require a collective effort from PSD, other agencies, and various community service providers. The Reentry Coordination Office will work to enlist the help and commitment from these other agencies, and community and faith-based organizations to build lasting connections and community partnerships,” Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said.

The Reentry Commission issued its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan which identified six actionable areas and opportunities to carry out its mandate and partner with the Department of Public Safety:

1. Regularly monitor and evaluation of key performance measures.

2. Review and advocate for PSD initiatives to develop more inmate-centric reentry assessment and programs.

3. Review and advocate for staff support and training to implement the Comprehensive Offender Reentry System.

4. Review and encourage PSD efforts to develop community partnership opportunities to increase employment and housing options for ex-offenders.

5. Review and advocate for PSD efforts and partnerships to return out-of-state inmates.

6. Encourage and advocate for community awareness and education initiatives.