Rehabilitation, Not Punishment: A Better Solution to Crime

Co-founder and executive editor of YES! Magazine Sarah van Gelder discusses the innovative approach to crime used in Hawaii’s only women’s prison.
Warden Mark Kawika photo by Sarah van Gelder

Warden Mark Kawika Patterson shows off the banana plants, taro patch, and vegetable gardens grown on prison grounds by inmates and community partners.

Photo by Sarah van Gelder for YES! Magazine.

When Warden Mark Kawika Patterson took a job at Hawaii’s only women’s prison, he learned that many of the prisoners suffered from psychiatric disorders and had long histories of drug addiction, alcoholism, and trauma. This discovery led Patterson to work to rehabilitate rather than punish offenders. Relying on community support, Patterson provides inmates with  occupational and cultural education in an attempt to prepare them for life after prison.

In this video, Free Speech TV interviews co-founder and executive editor of YES! Magazine Sarah van Gelder about Patterson’s innovative prison practices and why they are more effective than our traditional approach to crime.

Can Prison Be a Healing Place?
Read Sarah's article from YES! Magazine's latest issue, Beyond Prisons.






  • Patrice Gaines: We can keep our streets safe without throwing people away.

  • Why real justice means fewer prisons.
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