Hawaii to pay family of prisoner who killed himself in cell

HONOLULU — Hawaii is expected to pay the family of a prisoner who killed himself in his cell, according to officials.

The state is prepared to pay about $75,000 to the family of 32-year-old Jonathan Ibana, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.


Ibana killed himself in March 2013 at Halawa Correctional Facility on Oahu, six days after he reported being sexually assaulted by his cellmate, according to authorities.

Helen Coma, Ibana’s mother, filed a civil lawsuit against the state for not preventing his death, according to court documents.

Ibana had a history of mental health problems and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia after he was jailed in 2001 on charges of attempted murder and sexual assault of his underage girlfriend, according to records.

He was described as suffering from mental retardation, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and hallucinations before the schizophrenia diagnosis.

He reported multiple sexual assaults by other inmates while incarcerated in Hawaii and outside the state and tried to kill himself 15 times before transfer to Halawa prison in June 2010, records said.


The state Attorney General’s department submitted the settlement to the Legislature for approval, according to the newspaper, which reported that lawmakers have discussed establishing a commission to oversee Hawaii’s jails and prisons in part because of suicides and a lack of transparency about whether the Department of Public Safety is following procedures to prevent them.

More than two dozen inmates have killed themselves in Hawaii since 2010, according to the public safety department.

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