Arrest in Honolulu
https://www.instagram.com/p/B4pfhMGA5WJ/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet. This link will take you to beauty shots that made me think of jail.. Don’t worry. I will explain.
Secret Life Events Revealed
It has been said that people will not want to read a blog written by and featuring anyone with past (in some cases ongoing!) legal issues. Surely readers interested in taboo subjects must realize that it is likely that anyone who engages in forbidden acts might very well have incarceration in their background. Here at Red Light Hawaii we deal with social taboos and legal taboos. Can you handle it? You are probably impacted by arrest whether you know it or not.
One surprising fact is how many people are touched by incarceration. If you include people who are close to someone who has been arrested, that’s got to be most people. If you just count people who know someone who knows someone who has been arrested you’ll probably have a list of just about every American. When I was growing up I did not know anyone who had been to jail, myself included. Now, everyone I know has been to jail, myself included. I should clarify my explanation of arrest structure by stating am talking about jail as it pertains to Hawaii, specifically the main island of Oahu where the capitol, Honolulu, is located.
ARREST + Its Immediate Aftermath
There’s getting arrested. After arrest you go to cell block, the underground mini jail where arrestees are processed, finger prints, mug shots, etc.
This dungeon has dim 60 watt bulbs that make it hard to imagine there’s such a thing as sunlight. Cell block is 60°, a temperature the officials believe is cold enough to slow bacteria growth. I think hardy bacteria can handle the cool but it is uncomfortable for people dressed for a tropical climate. I have huddled with a woman I did not know under the stuff, scratchy institutional blanket trying to combine our body heat to combat the 25° temperature drop. You feel like you’re freezing but you are not literally freezing. You’re just shivering violently.
In this state, you wait for the first available court date. You hope for court in the morning where the judge will release people accused of misdemeanors and snitches. The judge will not release people they see all the time, which is how many people with serious mental illness end up jailed for petty offenses they may not know they committed. An egregious wrong the public knows little about and probably does not care.
People charged with felonies get sent to jail along with the mentally ill. They could spend two days in cell block waiting the 48 hours the state has to officially charge a person with a felony. At this point of being handed a paper with the formal charged they will be given a bail. If the accused cannot use their phone call to reach someone who can help them bail out, they could be in cell block for up to five days if they get arrested in a Wednesday before a three day weekend. That’s hell.
JAIL in Paradise
Each island has a jail which is the equivalent of mainland county jails. OCCC is the Oahu Community Correctional Center (pronounced O triple C). jail for people sentenced to a year or less AND for people charged with felonies who cannot raise bail. It is estimated that 70% of people in jail are awaiting trial. Innocent until proven guilty. A felony bail is at least $11,000 and many bondsman will take the 10% in cash and work out collateral that could be worth far less than 10 grand. But that $1,100 in cash is non negotiable. For people with drug habits who are willing to do once unimaginable things with strange men to get $20, that amount might as well be a million. Families are usually troubled to begin with and they cannot help. Maybe families never cared and do not keep in touch, or they have their own drug money to raise, or they want the person off drugs and refuse to post bail. Refusals come quickly when people are asked for bail money again. That’s how a person gets stuck for about a year.
Reminder of Jail
What made me think of jail? The article about blending gray hair instead of covering it which requires constant maintenance. In jail people’s roots grow in and to my surprise just about everyone dyed their hair. Even in jail the roots distressed the women and the first thing they did upon release was their hair. I bet men do not worry about their hair so much that it is the first thing they take care of upon release.