UA-131046696-1 [slim_seo_breadcrumbs]

Native Hawaiian group sues to establish a pu’uhonua at the former Kulani Prison site.



The motion will be heard on 20 June 2014.

Russell Roberts‘s insight:

Source:  Hawaii Tribune-Herald.


According to reporter John Burnett, a Native Hawaiian group called “Ohana Ho’opakele” is suing the state Department of Public Safety, the state Department of  Accounting and General Services, and state Comptroller Dean Seki to force the state of Hawaii “to establish a pu’uhonua, a place of refuge or healing, instead of reopening the prison on the site about 20 miles southeast of Hilo on the southeast slopes of Mauna Loa.”  Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara will hear the case on 20 June 2014, eleven days before the scheduled opening of the Kulani minimum security prison.  The reopening of the Kulani facility would accommodate approximately 200 of the nearly 1,700 Hawaii inmates now incarcerated in mainland U.S. prisons. “Ohana Ho’opakele” president Ralph Palikapu Dedman told reporter John Burnett that getting a summary judgment would be “a great moral victory for us…if they don’t open at the governor’s appointed time.”  Aloha, Russ.

2 thoughts on “Native Hawaiian group sues to establish a pu’uhonua at the former Kulani Prison site.”

  1. Well, gee, wouldn’t the prison also be considered a place for “refuge or healing”? After all, it would be good for the souls of those being kept off island to return to the islands so they could once again be embraced by the spirit of the islands instead of on the Mainland? I would think the Ohana would want to welcome those displaced persons back to the islands. Where is this guys compassion? INstead, he sounds like he just wants to symbolically stick his tongue out at the Governor and mess the time line. Sounds like a cheap pitiful effort to get some media time. Maybe he should go find a place of refuge and healing for his ego.

    1. Dedman has been a thorn in the side of state rehabilitation programs for many years. All he wants is media exposure for his splinter group. Kalani was the one bright spot in the state’s prison system. The facility is located in a beautiful place; was largely self-sufficient in food and water; and gave inmates a change to earn money from their crafts and supervised outside work. I’ve known a few former residents of the place, and they have only good things to say about how they were treated. Most Kulani inmates do not return to prison. I agree with you. Dedman has little compassion for anyone but himself. Aloha, Russ.

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