Disturbance at HCCC brought under control

  • Hawaii Community Correctional Center. West Hawaii Today file photo

The Department of Public Safety announced that on Friday at approximately 7 p.m. Hawaii Community Correctional Center (HCCC) implemented a lockdown after inmates in one housing module started a disturbance. The facility emergency response security team was given approval to use non-lethal means to gain compliance. The situation was contained by 9 p.m. without further incident.

“Staff followed their training to quickly restore order and prevent the situation from escalating,” said PSD Director Max Otani.

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Approximately ten officers from the Hawaii Police Department’s Patrol Division responded to HCCC in response to a call for assistance relative to approximately 40 inmates causing a major disturbance within the facility.

HPD provided perimeter security while order was restored and until being relieved by the Department of Public Safety Sheriff’s Division.

Facility health care staff evaluated the inmates for possible injuries. There are currently no reports received of any major injuries to inmates or staff. Damage is still being assessed, but preliminary reports indicate inmates broke plexiglass windows and started a small fire that was quickly extinguished. Hawaii Police as well as State Sheriffs were called to the scene and stood by to provide assistance if needed. Tommy Johnson, PSD’s Deputy Director for Corrections, is in Hilo assessing the damage.

“All HCCC staff on duty, and many who came to the facility to assist their co-workers, are to be commended for effectively and professionally bringing order to the module during these trying times,” said Tommy Johnson, Deputy Director for Corrections. “I also want to thank the Sheriffs and Hawaii Police for coming to the facility and offering their assistance.”

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The cause of the unrest is under investigation and inmates will be questioned. Any inmates found culpable will be criminally and administratively charged.

The housing module is located on the Punahele Street side of the facility in Hilo and houses inmates who are awaiting trial.

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