Officials closer to determining future of overcrowded OCCC

OCCC (6:30a)
Published: Apr. 26, 2017 at 11:43 AM HST|Updated: Apr. 26, 2017 at 2:38 PM HST
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KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Officials are one step closer to determining the future of the Oahu Community Correctional Center in Kalihi thanks to a well-attended public meeting this week designed to seek neighborhood input.

About 100 people attended a community feedback meeting at Aloha Stadium Monday night for a chance to review plans to either relocate or redevelop and renovate the outdated and overcrowded county jail.

Public Safety officials say OCCC must be replaced now. The county jail was built in 1914 and is only designed for 924 inmates, but is almost always over capacity. Currently officials say there are about 1,200 hundred inmates housed there.

Space isn't the only issue. Officials say OCCC was not designed to separate inmates with mental health issues from the general population -- and that has led to increased risks for both inmates and corrections officers.

Recent efforts to develop a future plan for OCCC have focused on identifying a site for a new OCCC. After initially considering 11 possibilities, the state has narrowed their options down to four. Community members who gathered Monday were able to view 3D renderings and design sketches for each of the locations and how they compare to similar county jails across the country.

One consideration is to leave OCCC where it is currently in Kalihi and undergo an extensive remodeling to modernize it and bring it up to code. Another potential site is the area of the Animal Quarantine Facility in Halawa. A third possible location is right next to the existing Halawa Correctional Facility. The last option is in Mililani on an undeveloped privately-owned lot in the Technology Park.

An environmental impact statement needs to be done for each potential site -- a process that's expected to be complete by the end of 2018. A final site selection isn't expected until early 2019. On that schedule, construction would be complete sometime in 2024.

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