close banner
Hawaii State Records
state records colored logo

Difference Between Hawaii Prison and Federal Prison

What is the Difference Between Federal Prison and Hawaii State Prison?

Hawaii State prison facilities remand individuals after the criminal justice system convicts them of an offense. Typically, an individual enters the Hawaii prison system when arrested or charged, brought before a state court, found guilty of violating the Hawaii criminal code, and sentenced to imprisonment in a state penitentiary.

On the other hand, persons convicted of federal crimes are sentenced and housed in a federal prison institution. Those guilty of committing a particular criminal offense across multiple state borders are also prosecuted in federal courts and may serve their jail terms in federal prison facilities. While many Hawaii state crimes are violent crimes such as rape, murder, homicide, or manslaughter, federal prison inmates usually have a criminal history of offenses such as fraud, tax evasion, currency counterfeiting, and terrorism. Federal incarceration terms are generally longer than state prison sentences.

A notable difference between Hawaii prisons and federal prisons is the management system. The Hawaii Department of Public Safety, Corrections Division is responsible for running the prison facilities owned by the state. On the other hand, the Federal Bureau of Prisons handles the operations and management of the federal prisons. Usually, federal prisons are more funded and may have more facilities and inmate programs than state prisons.

Inmates incarcerated in a federal prison institution can be transferred to another federal facility located anywhere in the country. However, when state prisoners are transferred, it is usually to another prison facility operated by the state government.

Hawaii Prison System

The Hawaii Prison System provides for the incarceration of individuals that committed crimes within the state's jurisdiction. The Corrections Division, headed by a deputy director, is in charge of managing this prison system. The Corrections Division runs four prison facilities.

Following the Prison Population Report of February 2021, the facility with the highest operational capacity can hold up to 992 inmates, and the lowest, only 200 inmates.

According to its policies and procedures, the Inmate Classification Office monitors the facility placement of inmates. The Division's classification system is based on the inmate's custody level, the amount of supervision required, the types of programs available to the inmate, and the prison facility. Usually, inmates have a variety of programs they can engage in while incarcerated. The Corrections Program Services (CPS) is responsible for providing and monitoring programs that educate, counsel, and treat inmates.

How to Lookup an Inmate in Hawaii

The Division, through the Hawaii SAVIN, offers individuals a means to lookup inmates and get access to Hawaii inmate records containing information regarding their custody and parole status.

The four prison institutions managed by the Hawaii DPS are:

Halawa Correctional Facility
99-902 Moanalua Road
Aiea, HI 96701
Phone: (808) 485-5200
Phone: (808) 485-5298 (Visitation)
Fax: (808) 483-7275

Waiawa Correctional Facility
94-560 Kamehameha Highway
Waipahu, HI 96797
Phone: (808) 677-6150
Fax: (808) 677-6155

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1839
Pearl City, HI 96782

Kulani Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 4459
Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: (808) 932-4430
Fax: (808) 932-4522

Women's Community Correctional Center
42-477 Kalanianaole Highway
Kailua, HI 96734
Phone: (808) 266-9580
Fax: (808) 266-9583

To send money to inmates housed in state prisons, the sender must be on the inmate's approved visitation list. Cashier's checks are only allowed via the U.S Post Office. Inmates can only receive $300 per month from their visitors.

Hawaii County Jails

Hawaii does not have any county jails. Jails located in the state are operated by the Hawaii Department of Public Safety and not by the local sheriff or police departments, as observed in most U.S States.

The jail facilities managed by the DPS hold misdemeanants sentenced to short-term incarceration periods and some defendants in the pre-trial stage of their cases. Additionally, to aid community reintegration, the criminal justice system allows the transfer of felons who have almost completed their prison sentences to jail facilities.

Information on inmates housed in the DPS jails is available on the Hawaii Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN). Public access sites in the state also provide records of convicted offenders.

The jail facilities in Hawaii include:

Hawaii Community Correctional Center
60 Punahele Street
Phone: (808) 933-0431
Fax: (808) 933-0425

Kauai Community Correctional Center
3-5351 Kuhio Highway
Lihue, HI 96766
Phone: (808) 241-3050
Fax: (808) 241-3059

Maui Community Correctional Center
600, Waiale Drive
Wailuku, HI 96793
Phone: (808) 243-5101
Phone: (808) 243-5861 (Visitation)
Fax: (808) 244-0128

Oahu Community Correctional Center
2199, Kamehameha Highway
Honolulu, HI 96819
Phone: (808) 832-1777
Phone: 808) 832-1633 (Visitation)
Fax: (808) 832-1412

How Does the Federal Prison System Work?

With 122 prison institutions, the federal prison system allows the imprisonment of persons guilty of committing federal crimes. The Federal Bureau of Prisons runs the day-to-day activities and operations of the prison facilities.

The federal prison facilities house 152,174 inmates, and most of them are serving prison terms ranging from 5 years to life sentences. More specifically, 15.1% of these inmates serve 20-year to life sentences.

Interested individuals can use the BOP search tool to locate a federal prison facility and obtain information concerning it. Persons who want to find an inmate may use the Inmate Locator to search by the inmate's full name, age, gender, and register number. Results retrieved date back as far as 1982.