Placing the 4 step APPROACH into context:Part of Pūʻ ā Foundation’s mission deals with healing and reconciliation efforts that address the consequences of the 1893 overthrow. We believe incarceration and the over-representation of Native Hawaiians within the criminal justice system is such a consequence, among many others. We also believe incarceration is: 1) related to the cycle of poverty, 2) a public health matter that affects the entire community, and 3) connected to issues dealing with historical, community and individual trauma.By way of background, Hawaii has the largest proportion of its population of women in prison compared to other places in the U.S. Native Hawaiian women, in particular, represent 40% of this female prison population, although they comprise only 19.8% of the general population of women in Hawaii. (OHA 2010; KS Huakai 2014).
Substantial research, as well as Pūʻā Foundation’s experience and findings indicate that trauma is a major contributing factor.
Complex societal problems like a women’s pathway to prison, require comprehensive solutions. At Pūʻā we believe understanding trauma on an individual, community and historical basis, and strategies of healing and recovery, are vital steps to developing solutions.
Creating impact and taking action to create places of healing and transformation, forming public/private partnerships to leverage resources and working together as a community to strengthen our families affected by incarceration also contribute greatly to the development of those solutions.
In Hawaii, Pūʻā Foundation has been at the forefront of Trauma- Informed Care Initiatives/Creating Places of Healing efforts that connect the understanding of trauma, healing and justice and through community organizing garners resources to achieve positive change. Positive change as we see it, results in individual and community healing and well-being.