Group seeks Hawaiian wellness at Kulani prison

Published: Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:52 AM HST
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HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A lawsuit claims the state failed to consider the Kulani Correctional Facility as a site for a wellness center.

The group Ohana Hoopakele promotes rehabilitation programs that are based on Hawaiian cultural practices. The group is challenging the state's finding that reopening the minimum-security prison will have no significant environmental impact.

The state plans to re-open Kulani next year. It was closed in 2009 to help balance the state budget.

Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the group claims not considering the site as a wellness center is a violation of Act 117. The act directs state officials to prepare a plan for a wellness center on state land and refers to Kulani as an ideal location because the area is a place of "deep spirituality for the Hawaiian people."

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