Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Sentenced Prison Population New Focus on Inmate Reduction

May 29, 2020, 2:51 PM HST
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More than 800 inmates have been released from Hawai‘i’s prisons and jails in an effort to avoid a breakout amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the prisons or jails.

As of today, Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center is the only jail in the state that is exceeding its 226-bed capacity with 258 inmates. Jails on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Maui are below bed capacities.

The focus for inmate reduction has shifted to the sentenced prison population, the Hawai‘i Public Safety Department reported in a press release today.

Halawa Correctional Facility and Women’s Community Correctional Center on O‘ahu of dropped their inmate populations to below facility capacity. However, Waiawa Correctional Facility is still overcapacity as is the Big Island’s Kulani Correctional Facility.

Courtesy of Public Safety Department

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These reductions are due to the huge, up-front diversion efforts made by county police departments, PSD’s Intake Services Center Division and the State Judiciary. More recent, additional reductions are due to the collaborative efforts of the state public defender’s office, county prosecutors, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and the Supreme Court-appointed Special Master, Judge Daniel Foley.

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The jail population decreases reflected for the time period in the graph above include all reasons for release ordered by the courts. Additionally, the prison population decreases reflected for the time period in the graph above include a combination of normal releases for time served, cases reviewed for parole approval in the normal course of business by the Hawaii Paroling Authority (HPA), and cases reviewed by HPA earlier than normal in consideration of the pandemic situation.

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