WAILUKU, Hawaii — The state Department of Public Safety plans to build an addition at Maui’s overcrowded jail, where rioting by inmates caused $5 million in damage earlier this year.
The new Maui Community Correctional Center unit for medium-security detainees will have 80 beds. The department said it’s one of its highest priority infrastructure projects.
Construction is due to begin next year and finish in 2021, The Maui News reported . The department released a draft environmental assessment for the $7.5 million project on Thursday.
The jail has 301 beds but held 415 inmates as of Nov. 30.
The riot occurred on March 11. Two pre-trial detainees escaped the following month but were taken into custody after a manhunt.
The department also plans medium security units at correctional facilities on Kauai and Hawaii islands. The additions aren’t expected to increase inmate populations at any of the jails.
The Maui addition would be about 20,000 square feet (1858 sq. meters). It would include two buildings for inmate housing, medical facilities and building services.
One structure of 8,762 square feet (814.01 sq. meters) would have 32 beds and the other of 10,197 square feet would hold 48 beds, according to plans by consultant DLR Group.
Since 1991, Hawaii’s prison and jail population has grown well beyond capacity yet no new facilities have been built, the department’s report said. “Consequently, (state Department of Public Safety) has been forced to double-bunk cells, add beds to dorms without adding space and convert spaces normally used for inmate programs.”