Sunday, February 4, 2001
home page local news opinion business island life sports
AP National & International News
Letters to the Editor
Dick Adair's Cartoons
Daryl Cagle's Cartoon
Submit A Letter
Submit A Commentary
Classified Ads
Restaurant Guide
Business Directory

Posted on: Sunday, February 4, 2001

Prison time-off bill sends wrong message

It’s a creative and well-intended bill the Senate Judiciary Committee has passed, but one that on second thought should be killed.

Inmates would be able to earn early-release credits for good behavior. The credit earned would be equal to 10 days for each month. The earned credit would be deducted from the inmate’s minimum sentence so long as the Hawaii Paroling Authority "is satisfied" that the inmate won’t commit another crime and endanger society.

At first blush, that’s a reasonable incentive for an inmate to be on his or her best behavior.

However, the state has a paroling authority, which already has a process for reducing minimum sentences. Since it is the authority that reviews the severity of the crime in setting a minimum sentence, and then becomes familiar with an inmate’s performance as it reviews applications for parole throughout the inmate’s term, it is the authority that is in the best position to determine when an inmate should go free. Thus the paroling authority should have as much flexibility as possible instead of being handcuffed by this bill.

We realize that the paroling authority is stricter than some would wish. But rather than micromanaging the paroling authority’s functions, lawmakers would make a better start by rescinding some of the overly tough mandatory sentencing laws they’ve passed in recent years that are a lot harder on inmates than the paroling authority.

[back to top]

Home | Local News | Opinion | Business | Island Life | Sports
USA Today | Letters to the Editor | Dick Adair's Cartoons
Submit A Letter | Submit Commentary

How to Subscribe | How to Advertise | Site Map | Terms of Service | Corrections

© COPYRIGHT 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.