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Hawaii Community Correctional Center Inmates Transferred to Three Other Facilities in Effort to Alleviate Overcrowding

by Thunda

The Department of Public Safety transferred 28 inmates from the Hawaii Community Correctional Center (HCCC) to the Halawa Correctional Facility (HCF) and Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) on Oahu, 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 Oahu, 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 Oahu, 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 our HCCC health care and security staff, Mainland Branch and Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) staff who secured the air transports, as well as the Halawa staff and the Hawaii 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, and deemed medically cleared to travel, were considered. The facilities placed the newly admitted inmates in an intake quarantine, which is in line with PSD’s Pandemic Plan and based on DOH and CDC guidelines for correctional facilities.

The Department of Public Safety (PSD) continues to encourage all staff and inmates to voluntarily receive the COVID vaccination. For more information on PSD’s planning and response to COVID-19, inmate testing data, and information detailing the efforts made to safeguard the inmates, staff and public, visit our webpage at:

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