Hawaii governor visits Maui jail following riot and escape
WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii’s governor has visited a corrections facility where a riot and an escape recently took place, according to news reports.
Democratic Gov. David Ige toured the Maui Community Correctional Center Tuesday with Department of Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda and Maui Mayor Mike Victorino.
The visit came about a month after a riot caused millions in damage and two days after pretrial detainees Troy Diego and Barret Paman escaped through a back door and over a fence before later surrendering to police.
Besides $5 million in emergency funding, state lawmakers have allocated $8 million for long-term fixes to the aging lockup.
“We are looking at accelerating the emergency repairs,” Ige said. “They’ve replaced broken windows and a number of things. We are expediting new doors and locks for most of the facility.”
The officials toured the grounds and surveyed about $51,000 in repairs including wired security glass in control rooms, new glass in cell windows and doors, and paint used to cover burn marks resulting from the March 11 riot when more than 200 inmates breached their cells in two modules.
Inmates said overcrowded conditions were among the reasons for the riot.
The jail has about 370 inmates and 32 were transported to Halawa Correctional Facility on Oahu for participating in the riot.
“It is overcrowded clearly,” Ige said. “We walked into one of the cells, and to imagine four people being in that cell — a very small space — I can certainly see the stress that overcrowding provides in a facility like this.”