Big Island prison could be reopened

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - A move is under way to reopen Kulani Correctional Facility on the Big Island.

The minimum-security prison was shut down in 2009 and about 160 inmates were scattered and placed in other correctional facilities. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says reopening the facility would mean that prisoners could return to the Big Island from Oahu and two facilities in Arizona.

Officials also say reopening the prison would bring nearly 70 new jobs and other economic benefits to the island, as well as situating prisoners closer to their families.

The department released a draft environmental assessment in November to reactivate the 280-acre prison by 2014. The department will hold public meetings on Hawaii island to discuss the report and gather comments.

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