Following riot, 21 inmates transferred from troubled Maui jail to Oahu facility

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Mar. 14, 2019 at 2:23 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state has transferred 21 Maui inmates who officials allege “aggressively participated” in Monday’s riot at the Maui Community Correctional Center to Oahu.

The inmates, who are all awaiting trials on unrelated crimes, arrived in Honolulu about 10:45 a.m. on board a chartered flight. They were transferred to the Halawa Correctional Facility.

Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said his department is working with the courts to allow for video conferencing of certain hearings so transport back to Maui for court isn’t necessary.

“This large transport to Halawa went off without a hitch because of the team effort made by all involved,” he said, in a news release.

Espinda, who is facing increased scrutiny of his leadership, has said a significant factor in Monday’s riot at the Maui jail was ongoing overcrowded conditions.

[Read more: Public Safety director says severe overcrowding at Maui jail likely cause of riot]

He repeated that claim Thursday, saying that the motivation behind the riot “appears to be dissatisfaction with conditions related to the extreme overcrowded conditions at the jail.”

The hours-long incident at the Maui Community Correction Center, located in Wailuku, left behind significant damage to two separate housing modules, and left three staff members with minor injuries.

Officials also said Thursday that two inmates were injured but did not immediately seek medical care.

One of the inmates was injured in an altercation with another inmate, while the other one was injured while punching a hole in a divider, the state said. Both were treated at a nearby hospital and returned to the facility.

New photos provided to HNN from inside Maui Community Correctional Center show the extent of the riot’s damage ― trash everywhere, broken furniture and doors, and charred walls from where a fire was started.

Officials have not yet put a price tag on the clean-up and repairs.

MCCC houses about 410 people, but is designed for 301 beds.

Overcrowding was further exacerbated in the wake of Monday’s riot. State Public Safety officials said the cells in the two housing modules that were damaged are usable, but the common areas are not.

This story will be updated.

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