AP NEWS

Maui jail issues fines to 18 inmates involved in riot, fire

November 21, 2019 GMT

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A Hawaii jail has issued fines to 18 prisoners convicted of participating in a riot that caused millions of dollars in damage, officials said.

The Maui Community Correctional Center assessed fines of $2,716 each against inmates found guilty of rioting and setting fires in March, The Maui News reported Wednesday.

Inmates found guilty only of setting fires were assessed $1,358 fines, state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said in an email.

The riot began after inmates in a jail area called Module B refused to return to their cells after a discussion about broken phones. Damages beyond the fires included tearing nonworking phones off walls and ransacking cells, officials said.

Jail staff and inmates later said they feared for their lives as fights broke out and smoke and flooding water filled the area.

The 18 inmates were moved from the Maui jail to Halawa Correctional Facility on Oahu following the riot, with 36 inmates eventually transferred.

“This allowed for the restoration of routine operations and the expediting of the internal investigative and adjustment hearing process,” Schwartz said.

The inmates were sanctioned under corrections administration policies for misconduct violations. Fine payments will be deposited in the state’s general fund, Schwartz said.

“The next step in the process will be to review the administration/internal investigation findings and consider all of the possible criminal charges that can be filed,” Schwartz wrote.

Most repairs at the jail have been completed, although cell locking mechanisms are in the process of being replaced. Funding for the immediate repairs came from a $5.1 million emergency appropriation for fiscal year 2019, Schwartz said.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com