Local Connection: State Prisons - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: State Prisons


By: Rick Blangiardi  

What is happening at our state prisons?

As Keoki Kerr reported, nearly half of the corrections officers at four prisons called in sick on Super Bowl Sunday.

At the Waiawa Correctional Facility and the Maui Community Correctional Facility, roughly 47 percent of the guards called in sick. At the Women's Community Correctional Center 45 percent called in sick and 42 percent called in sick at the Halawa Prison. OCCC was downright healthy by comparison, with only 35 percent of the guards calling in sick.

But that meant that 60 corrections officers had to be held over or brought in on overtime.

In all, 251 guards at eight prisons called in sick.

The day after the Super Bowl, about a quarter of the guards at the prisons called in sick.

All state employees, including corrections officers, get 21 sick days and 21 vacation days.

The correction officers' contract doesn't require them to bring in a doctor's note unless they are sick five days in a row.

One state legislator calls the sickouts "a cause for concern" but says the state's hands are tied because of the way the labor contracts are written.

It is our opinion that it is long past time that we accept this kind of behavior as business as usual.

We believe no less than the governor should look into this situation and demand accountability beyond a simple audit. It's a slap in the face to all the corrections officers who come into work, do their jobs well and don't abuse the system. Calling in sick when you're not really sick? Now that's sickening.

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