(BIVN) – On Friday evening, the Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center implemented a lockdown after inmates in one housing module “started a disturbance”, and an emergency response security team was given approval to “use non-lethal means to gain compliance.”
The Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety reported the situation, which was contained by 9 p.m. Friday without further incident, amid an onging string of daily updates on an outbreak of COVID-19 identified in inmates and staff.
On Saturday, HCCC reported 37 positive inmate tests results, with 89 negative, bringing the total active inmate cases of COVID-19 at the facility to 136. There was also one newly reported staff case, bringing the total staff cases to 11.
The cause of the unrest at the HCCC housing module – located on the Punahele Street side of the facility, housing inmates who are awaiting trial – is under investigation. Any inmates found culpable will be criminally and administratively charged, officials say.
“Staff followed their training to quickly restore order and prevent the situation from escalating,” said PSD Director Max Otani. From the Public Safety news release:
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.”