The Hawaii Department of Public Safety on Thursday reported inmates involved in Tuesday’s affray at Hawaii Community Correctional Center have been transferred off island.
In a media release, DPS said through on-duty staff observations and the preliminary investigative questioning of inmates, HCCC staff were able to identify 26 inmates who participated in Tuesday’s disturbance at HCCC. As a result, 25 inmates were sent to Halawa Correctional Facility on Oahu on Wednesday. They arrived on two charter flights and were transported 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 Oahu Community Correctional Center staff who secured the air transports, the Halawa staff, our Hilo and Oahu Sheriffs, and the Hawaii Police Department for assisting us in all the details of this action,” said Maria Cook, deputy director for administration.
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.
Final incident reports are still being compiled by the Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Preliminary information confirms that inmates started the disturbance after a search for contraband was conducted in their housing unit, the state agency said. There is no indication that overcrowding contributed to the cause, officials added.
Hawaii police are currently conducting a criminal investigation and will make the determination on possible criminal charges. The internal investigation is ongoing.
The inmates housed in Waianuenue are sentenced felons serving short prison sentences of fewer than two years.