HONOLULU – The Department of Public Safety transferred 28 inmates from the Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center (HCCC) to the Halawa Correctional Facility (HCF) and Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) on O‘ahu, to help alleviate some overcrowding at the Big Island jail. They arrived on two charter flight this afternoon and were transported to HCF and WCCC without incident. Of the 28 who flew to O‘ahu, 18 are sentenced felons who were scheduled to be transferred to HCF, three sentenced felons went to WCCC, and seven are pre-trial felons who are being held temporarily at HCF.
The seven will return to HCCC once the outbreak there has been mitigated. An additional six sentenced inmates were also transferred to Kulani Correctional Facility.
“We have made no secret of the fact that our jails, especially HCCC, are overcrowded. The COVID-19 pandemic adds an extra burden to these facilities,” said Max Otani, PSD Director. “We have been looking at options to temporarily free up some space at the Big Island jail. PSD expedited an agreement with a private charter to fly inmates who were medically cleared of COVID to O‘ahu, so that HCCC now has a little more space to medically isolate, quarantine and cohort inmates.”
“This transport could not have been coordinated and executed this fast and efficiently without the collaboration of many departments and agencies. We want to thank Kulani Correctional Facility staff, HCCC health care and security staff as well as the Mainland Branch and O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) staff who secured the air transports. We also want to acknowledge the Halawa staff and the Hawai‘i Department of Health for helping us quickly accomplish this move.” said Tommy Johnson, Deputy Director for Corrections.
Director Otani continued, “PSD is in constant contact with the Judiciary and the Third Circuit courts. They have been very accommodating in assisting us in all details of this action, including the venue changes for remote hearings and arraignments.”
Only inmates who have been vaccinated, and/or tested negative prior to transport were considered.