Settlement sets up panel for Hawaii prisons during pandemic

Coronavirus

FILE

HONOLULU (AP) — A U.S. judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement in a lawsuit by Hawaii inmates who allege state officials mishandled the pandemic and failed to protect them from COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons and jails.

The settlement establishes a five-person panel to oversee public health in correctional facilities and other measures to improve sanitation, hygiene and medical monitoring.

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The judge says the settlement is “fair, adequate, and reasonable.”

Situations described in court documents included ailing detainees kept near a bathroom flooded with urine and feces.

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A hearing is scheduled next month to consider any objections to the settlement terms.

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