Documents show spiking drug problem at Halawa prison; DPS taking action

Exclusive documents show drug problem spiking at Prison, DPS taking action

HALAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Public Safety acknowledges that there is a drug problem at Halawa Prison and documents Hawaii News Now has obtained shows the problem spiked last year.

Ted Sakai, the Director of Public Safety says the drugs are getting in primarily through two channels.

Tuesday the department detailed their plan to stop one of those channels.

The visiting rooms no longer allow contact between prisoners and family members or friends anymore.  Plexiglass has been installed in 47 cubicles which were constructed by prisoners themselves.

"The purpose of installing these partitions is to stop the contraband that comes through the facility's doors when visitation is held," said Public Safety Director Ted Sakai. "Contraband controls are for the safety and welfare of inmates and our staff."

Documents obtained by Hawaii News Now show the problem hit a high point in 2013.  169 prisoners had dirty drug tests last year.  In 2012, there were 55.

Sakai says they have been doing more tests and that could also be the result.

The second channel of contraband, guards.  Recently several correctional officers have been indicted for smuggling drugs into Halawa.

Sakai says they are doing more employee searches and hope to buy body scanners.  Those devices are expensive so he will likely have to ask legislators for funding.

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