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Bill Proposes Purchase of Honolulu Federal Jail

January 24, 2019, 1:29 PM HST (Updated January 24, 2019, 1:29 PM)
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A proposal to purchase the Honolulu Federal Detention Center to replace the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) was introduced by State Rep. Gregg Takayama (D-Pearl City, Pacific Palisades, Waimalu).

“The federal jail is very under-utilized, while OCCC is tremendously overcrowded and in need of replacement,” said Rep. Takayama, chair of the House Public Safety, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

The Honolulu Federal Detention Center. PC: Wikimedia Commons.

The Honolulu Federal Detention Center, located near the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, has a capacity for 1,200 detainees, while it currently houses only 408, according to its website. Among its detainees are 160 male and female state inmates, whose bed spaces are leased by the State Department of Public Safety at a cost of $123.19 per day.

Furthermore, the number of federal detainees is likely to decrease with the implementation of the criminal justice reform bill called the First Step Act of 2018, signed into law last month by President Trump.

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“The passage of HB 1177 would send a strong message to the federal government that we are serious about negotiating the purchase of the Honolulu Federal Detention Center,” said Rep. Takayama. The savings from not having to spend more than a half-billion dollars to build a new OCCC should be invested into improving our inmate rehabilitation and re-entry programs.”

The Honolulu FDC was built in 2001 at a cost of about $170 million.

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