FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2023
HAWAI‘I WORKERS CENTER JOINS LEGAL COMMUNITY TO ASSIST KIA‘I EXPUNGE ARREST RECORDS
With over 250 kia‘i, or protectors, arrested for participating in non-violent protests at the Kahuku wind turbines, Mauna Kea, Haleakalā, and Hūnānāniho, some kiaʻi have reported unanticipated consequences stemming from those arrests. This includes barriers to opportunities and activities that make our communities better, including employment and volunteer coaching opportunities. In recognition of the collateral consequences of arrest, Hawaiʻi law allows for some non-conviction arrests to be expunged, or removed, from criminal history records. However, successfully navigating this legal process is not always easy if one is not familiar with the law.
The Hawai‘i Workers Center is supporting the Lāhui Foundation, in partnering with the State of Hawaiʻi Office of the Public Defender, the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association’s Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services to the Public, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, the Hawaiʻi Innocence Project, Project E4, Beyond Guilt Legal Clinic Hawaiʻi, and Hawaiʻi Community Bail Fund in providing free legal assistance to help kia‘i expunge and seal these arrest records, if eligible.
Sergio Alcubilla, Co-Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi Workers Center shares,
We are supporting the Lāhui Foundation on this important effort because we believe workers who exercise their right to be civically engaged and stand up for their communities should not be punished with being denied employment because of this arrest record showing up on their background checks. Thank you to the many organizations and attorney volunteers who are stepping up to help make this right.
According to Daylin-Rose H. Heather, a staff attorney with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation,
Many kiaʻi who have been arrested while participating in peaceful, non-violent protests to protect their communities and sacred places may qualify to have their arrest record expunged. Yet, many may not be equipped to successfully request expungement without volunteer legal assistance. We are proud to partner with allied community and legal service organizations to help kiaʻi navigate this expungement process. Kiaʻi represent hundreds of neighbors, family members, coaches, teachers, and other beloved members of our Hawaiʻi communities who have taken a stand to aloha ‘āina. The opportunity for them to expunge non-conviction arrests or receive legal information, if not eligible for expungement, is a step towards greater access to social justice and empowerment so they can continue living as valuable and contributing members of their communities.
“The Lāhui Foundation hopes that all protectors of this ‘āina can join us at this unprecedented event to have an opportunity to expunge their arrest record so that they can continue to grow and succeed in every endeavor,” says Ayesha Liquorish, a director of the Lāhui Foundation.
The expungement clinic will take place on Saturday, February 18 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Kahuku Community Center, 56-576 Kamehameha Hwy. Kahuku, HI 96731. The clinic will include live music and representation from tabling organizations, such as AlohaCare, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, Hawaiʻi Workers Center, Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action, Hawaiʻi Community Bail Fund, Oʻahu Water Protectors, and Pasifika Empowerment and Advancement.
Kia‘i needing help to expunge their records should visit www.lahuifoundation.org and on social media @lahuifoundation to pre-register by Friday, February 17.