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25 HCCC Inmates Transferred to O‘ahu After Affray, Fire

September 11, 2020, 9:06 AM HST
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Cleanup underway at HCCC unit after Sept. 8 disturbance. (PC: Public Safety Department)

Twenty-six inmates at Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center were identified as participating in the disturbance at the jail on Tuesday.

As a result, 25 inmates were sent to Halawa Correctional Facility on O‘ahu on Sept. 9. They arrived on two charter flights and were transported to HCF without incident. One inmate remains at HCCC.

“This large transport could not have been coordinated and executed this fast and efficiently without the collaboration of many departments and agencies. We want to thank our Mainland Branch and O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) staff who secured the air transports, the Halawa staff, our Hilo and O‘ahu Sheriffs, and the Hawai‘i Police Department for assisting us in all the details of this action,” said Maria Cook, Deputy Director for Administration.

The incident at HCCC occurred on Sept. 8, when inmates in the A-Wing of the Wainuenue housing model of the Kulani Correctional Facility barricaded the doors and started a fire.

“Sometime earlier there was an affray leading to rioting at the facility including the setting of fire to a housing unit,” according to a press release from Hawai‘i Police Department. “It has not yet been determined the cause of the brawl at the facility and it was not determined how much damage has been done.”

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The situation was contained and order was brought back to the housing unit at approximately 5:30 p.m. Non-lethal force was used to subdue inmates and gain compliance. Inmates were evacuated so an assessment of the damage could take place.

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Preliminary information confirms that inmates started the disturbance after a search for contraband was conducted in their housing unit. There is no indication that overcrowding contributed to the cause. Hawai‘i Police are currently conducting a criminal investigation and will make the determination on possible criminal charges. The internal investigation is ongoing.

Cleanup efforts are underway in the A-wing of the Waianuenue housing unit. The water, broken furniture and other debris have all been cleaned up. The broken windows, security screens and bathroom fixtures will have to be replaced. The cost to fix the damage and replace furniture is pending the ongoing assessment.

The inmates housed in Waianuenue are sentenced felons serving short prison sentences of less than two years. Final incident reports are still being compiled by HCCC.

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