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MCCC Inmates Cause Water & Fire Damage During ‘Disturbances’

March 12, 2019, 10:17 AM HST
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A disturbance in one of the Maui Community Correctional Center’s living units was reported just before 3 p.m. on Monday, March 11, 2019. Inmates from that module were out in the common area on recreation time. When recreation time was over, the inmates were directed to go to their cells. However, 42 inmates refused and 52 complied with that order.

Inmates who refused the order began breaking fire sprinklers, which began shooting water out in the common area. Maintenance was informed to shut off the water system.

The non-compliant inmates started a small fire in the common area and smoke drifted to an adjacent module, where inmates there started a lesser disturbance.

Preliminary reports indicated that at about 4:24 p.m., MCCC staff and Maui police began negotiations with inmates by way of the recreation yard. Many inmates chose to voluntarily and peacefully exit the modules.

At 4:49 p.m. MCCC staff made entry through the emergency exit door. At 5:15 p.m. all inmates were secured and accounted for.

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Staff then turned their attention to the second module that created a lesser disturbance. At 6:13 the inmates were evacuated and by 6:26 p.m. the situation was declared contained.

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Significant damage was sustained to the two modules. Damage estimates are pending.

No inmate injuries were reported. Three staff members were treated for minor injuries including an injured finger, a cut to one foot from shattered glass and skin irritation from pepper spray exposure. All were treated by medical staff and returned to duty.

The disturbance is under investigation internally by the Department of Public Safety as well as criminally by the Maui Police Department. Staff are questioning inmates to determine who started the disturbance and why they started it. Once the inmates responsible for the incident are identified, they will be brought up on criminal charges as well as internal disciplinary action, pending the outcome of the investigations.

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Clean up is underway in the modules. A facility-wide lockdown is still in effect until questioning and cleanup are completed.

“I want to thank and commend the correctional staff of MCCC for their professional, measured and effective response to this disturbance,” said PSD Director Nolan Espinda. “Their coordinated actions brought a potentially much larger situation under control while keeping themselves safe and the inmates secured throughout. We also want to thank the MPD and MFD for their quick and unequivocal support. All personnel involved in this multi-agency response have shown themselves to be the best that public service has to offer. Maui police and Maui fire provided much-needed support and aided greatly in the resolution and control of the situation.”

Public Safety’s deputy director for Corrections and Departmental Security coordinator are heading to Maui to conduct the incident followup, investigation and damage assessment.

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