Through on-duty staff observations and the preliminary investigative questioning of inmates, Maui Community Correctional Center staff were able to definitively identify 21 inmates who aggressively participated in Monday’s disturbance at the MCCC, according to Department of Public Safety officials.
The inmates arrived on a charter flight to Oahu at 10:45 a.m. and were transported to Halawa Correctional Facility by 11:25 a.m., without incident.
“Although these detainees are pre-trial status, the circumstances dictate this transfer to a more secure facility,” DPS officials said in a release on Thursday.
“We want to thank the OCCC staff who secured the air transport, the Halawa Correctional Facility staff, our Maui and Oahu Sheriffs, the Maui Police Department, the Maui Fire Department, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino, the Judiciary and other criminal justice entities who have been very accommodating in assisting us in all details of this action, from the very beginning, and up to now. We are working with the courts to allow video conferencing for certain hearings, so we can minimize the need to transport these detainees back to Maui for court,” said Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda. “This large transport to Halawa went off without a hitch because of the team effort made by all involved”.
MCCC staff have been proactive in identifying the inmates responsible for this incident and assessing damage so that the facility can return to normal operations as soon as possible. They continue to question inmates to determine all parties involved in all phases of the disturbance. Once all inmates responsible for the incident are confirmed, they will be brought up on criminal charges as well as internal disciplinary action, pending the outcome of the investigations.
Monday’s disturbance resulted in significant damage to two modules. Both have been secured. Although the common areas in those units are still unusable, individual cells that are fully or partially operational, are now being occupied by inmates. The damage to the common area is still being assessed. In the meantime, inmates in those modules will use the outside recreation field during their out of cell time.
Medical care for inmates requesting it has been continuously provided by facility health care staff who have been working extended hours since Monday. Preliminary information received in the early aftermath of the disturbance indicated that inmates had not come forward to report injuries. Reports are still being compiled but, we have learned that two inmates reported minor injuries sustained. One was due to an inmate-on-inmate altercation and another injured his hand while punching a hole in a divider. Both were treated at a nearby hospital emergency room and returned to the facility within two hours. We will continue to provide further updates as information is received.
“At this point, and based on the actions of the participants, the motivation behind the disturbance and subsequent agitation appears to be dissatisfaction with conditions related to the extreme overcrowded conditions at the jail,” said Director Espinda.
The disturbance remains under investigation internally by the Department of Public Safety as well as criminally by the Maui Police Department.