East Hawaii News

Adult Correctional Officer Graduates Assigned to HCCC

May 16, 2014, 6:55 PM HST
* Updated May 19, 1:00 PM
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A ceremony was held today in Hilo for 26 new adult correctional officers.

Hawaii Police Department Assistant Chief Henry Tavares was the keynote speaker at today’s graduation held at the Papaikou Hongwanji Hall.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety said the graduates of the 8-week Basic Corrections Training will begin their careers at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo.

Many will be taking the place of correctional officers who will be transferring to Kulani Correctional Facility when it reopens July 1.

A total of 39 former Kulani ACOs will be transitioning back to the minimum-security facility located on the slopes of Mauna Loa. An additional 15 Kulani officer positions will be filled by recruits for the next ACO training class which starts in late June.

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The state is reopening Kulani to open up 200 beds for prisoners currently incarcerated in private mainland facilities. The move is expected to save the state about $5 million per year.

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Inmates from the state prison system chosen for Kulani would be those within two to four years of release. They would be considered “community custody” inmates, the same category for those currently being held at Hale Nani, HCCC’s reintegration facility in the Panaewa area of Hilo.

It was announced in December that HCCC supervisor Ruth Coller Forbes will be Kulani’s warden.

Kulani was closed in 2009 by then-Gov. Linda Lingle as a cost-cutting measure. At the time it housed 160 inmates.

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