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18 Felony Inmates Released From HCCC

September 3, 2020, 7:20 AM HST
* Updated September 3, 7:22 AM
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Keahuolu Courthouse. PC: Hawai‘i State Judiciary.

Eighteen felony-charged or pretrial prisoners at Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center were released, the Hawai‘i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney announced Wednesday afternoon.

The Hawai‘i Supreme Court (HSC) ordered the release of certain prisoners from jails statewide after the State Office of the Public Defender filed a petition requesting such action due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in O‘ahu Community Correctional Center in August.

Twenty-four petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor prisoners have already been released from HCCC.

The prosecutor’s office received a list from the Public Safety Department indicating 132 HCCC inmates qualified for release under the parameters set by HSC. The prosecutor’s office objected to 93 of the names.

The 3rd Circuit Court ultimately granted the release of 24 inmates over the prosecution’s objection. Sixty-nine were denied release.

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The most common offenses for released Defendants, the prosecutor’s office indicated, are property crime such as theft, unauthorized control of propelled vehicle, forgery, and felony drug possession, prohibited possession of illegal firearms and firearms by felons.

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The Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s Victim Assistance Unit contacted all victims in the involved cases to notify them of the possibility of inmate releases. Victims are encouraged to sign up for Hawai‘i Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN). VINELink is an online portal to VINE that provides information regarding custody status changes of inmates and criminal case information. Click here for more information.

The Circuit Court issued three types of release orders: Pretrial felony inmates were ordered on supervised release, sentenced felony inmates were granted temporary suspension of incarceration with terms, and felony inmates pending revocation of probation were ordered to be released and given a future court date.

All released inmates are ordered to immediately contact their attorney or probation officer, if on probation.

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“We understand that HCCC staff have been finding places for inmates to quarantine for 14 days pursuant to the Supreme Court order,” the prosecutor’s office stated. “A new program run by Going Home Hawai‘i has 9 beds in Hilo for released inmates that are homeless.”

The remaining inmates who were granted release over the prosecutor’s objections are felony pre-trial defendants.

“The Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s remain concerned about inmates who were released over objection, but the public should know that all previously ordered conditions, including restraining and no-contact order and geographic bans, continue to be in effect,” officials from the office state. “Violations should be reported immediately.”

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