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Forum to explore impacts of jail, substance abuse on Maui families

By Staff | Jan 7, 2010

“The purpose of the forum is to provide county and state representatives with community viewpoints on the impact of drugs and incarceration on families,” said Maui Economic Opportunity CEO Sandy Baz, “so they can have firsthand information from those most affected by these issues.”

WAILUKU — Maui Economic Opportunity’s Being Empowered and Safe Together (BEST) community reintegration program is sponsoring a community forum to share concerns on the effects of incarceration and substance abuse on Maui families.

The forum will take place today, Thursday, Jan. 7, at Classrooms 1-2 of MEO’s Weinberg Family Center at 99 Mahalani St. in Wailuku from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

The event’s panel will be comprised of Rep. Mele Carroll, Danette Kahele Arrojo, Lenny Hatori and Aunty Honey, whose daughter was sent off island, and as a result, she is now caring for her grandchildren.

Following the panel, there will be small group discussions on these topics: How have drugs affected your family or families you know; how has incarceration affected your family or families you know; what will you do personally to address these issues in 2010; and what will you tell County Council members and Maui County legislators about these issues?

Guests will include Maui Community Correctional Center’s warden and deputy warden, Pete McDonald and Alan Nouchi; County Councilmen Mike Victorino and Joe Pontanilla; Rep. Faye Hanohano; Dr. William Kepler and Department of Health Nurse LuEllen Kepler.

In addition to the discussions, the event will provide heavy pupus from 5 to 6 p.m.

“Community members are encouraged to attend to discuss these important issues that affect everyone’s ‘ohana,” said MEO BEST Program Director Ken Hunt.