HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In for a little light reading?
The state Attorney General’s Office on Thursday. released its massive, 192-page report on the 2017 escape of an admitted killer from Hawaii State Hospital.
The full report came a day after the state discussed its contents — and said no employees would be disciplined as a result of the investigation.
The reason: The Attorney General’s Office said that while its investigators found significant lapses in policies and procedures at the State Hospital, it found no evidence of employee wrongdoing.
In other words, it was the system that was broken (and the state says it’s since taken steps to prevent future escapes).
Significant chunks of the report are redacted to protect privileged information.
Even so, interviews with investigators included in the document paint a picture of a forensic psychiatric facility that was run like a hospital, with limited security and a lack of adherence to polices on the books.
That’s even though the vast majority of patients at the Hawaii State Hospital were sent there by the courts after being arrested or found not guilty by reason of insanity.
[Read the full report by clicking here.]
That was the case for escapee Randall Saito, who was committed to the hospital in 1981 after being acquitted by reason of insanity for the gruesome murder of a 29-year-old woman at Ala Moana Center.
The report says Saito had “unescorted grounds privileges,” and had previously missed hourly check-ins with staff members. Employees also told investigators that fencing at the hospital was inadequate.
Those missed hourly check-ins meant were apparently so regular that staff didn’t realize Saito was missing for 11 hours. By the time police were called, was already in California, where he was arrested several days later.
In every interview in the report, employees denied ever helping Saito or giving him preferential treatment.
But they do suggest he was a wrong fit for the unit he was on, whose other inhabitants were older and had more significant health problems.
They also acknowledged that security at the hospital was so lax that visitors were not searched — or not searched well — for contraband. Employees also said that Saito was not well searched after returning to the hospital from the Koolau Clubhouse, a community-based gathering place for people with mental health disorders.