State slapped with big fines over safety violations at Maui Community Correctional Center

Updated: Sep. 20, 2018 at 5:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state has agreed to pay more than $22,000 for safety violations at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

The fines issued by the Department of Labor cover a wide range of violations at the 40-year-old jail.

They include:

  • Dormitory stairways that were in disrepair;
  • A malfunctioning fire alarm control panel;
  • Corrosion damage to a recreation yard exit door.

The Labor Department said the damaged door would make it difficult for inmates to evacuate during emergencies like a fire.

"This kind of situation is a prescription for disaster," said attorney Eric Seitz, who has sued the state over prison safety issues. "It's unsafe for everybody."

It's the second time in several months that the labor department has fined MCCC.

In the previous case, the Department of Public Safety paid more than $8,000 for shutting down a fire alarm control panel for more than a week.

Prison officials have acknowledged problems at MCCC for years.

"The Maui situation is like any of the situations across the state -- with the exception of Halawa -- are worn dilapidated and worn out," DPS Director Nolan Espinda told Hawaii News Now in July 2017.

Public Safety officials said they've made fixes to the stairways and plan to repair the damaged door and malfunctioning fire alarm.

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