Hawaii: Inmates set fire, barricade door at jail in Hilo

HONOLULU — Hawaii County police said Tuesday they responded to a riot at the jail in Hilo that included inmates setting a fire.

Police said in a statement the cause of the brawl at Hawaii Community Correctional Center had not yet been determined. Police said the fire was extinguished, and state personnel were evacuating inmates to assess damage to the facility.

Police said there were no reports of major injuries, though there were reported injuries to inmates. Police said corrections officers suffered smoke inhalation and respiratory issues.

The state Department of Public Safety said inmates set a fire and barricaded at door at the jail.

Department data shows the jail housed 290 inmates as of Monday, even though it was designed to hold just 206. The 128% occupancy rate makes it the state’s most crowded prison or jail.

Last Tuesday, inmates at a module at Maui’s jail refused to go back to their cells. The department said staff activated emergency response teams to deescalate the situation.

A riot broke out at the Maui jail in March 2019. This episode involved 42 inmates and lasted three and a half hours, according to Department of Public Safety officials.

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