HONOLULU (KHON2) — More than three years after a riot that caused millions of dollars in damage, the Maui Community Correctional Center is set to undergo major repairs. But a final report on the incident has yet to be released to the public.
Officials said the riot that occurred in March 2019 caused more than $5 million in damage inside the Maui jail. Emergency repairs have been done since then, but the state has just put out a bid to make more major repairs to the facility.
According to the state notice, the project will include “Enhancements that may help mitigate future riots from occurring or enhance response to emergency operations.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety (PSD) said the plan is to put in long-term security upgrades like, “Modernizing locking mechanisms, upgrades to the security electronic systems, and other operational security solutions.”
But a full report on what happened and what can be done to prevent it has yet to be released.
“I think it’s a huge safety issue. For me, it’s not only about the people who are trying to protect the jails, a lot of the prison guards, I think they were put in a lot of jeopardy. And I think there was a lot of review that needed to happen on making sure that this did not happen again,” said Maui Rep. Troy Hashimoto.
Hashimoto said he’s surprised that the report has not been released, and he wants the public safety director to sit down with lawmakers to explain why.
“Keeping those guards safe I think as a result of this incident, I think the morale was at an all-time low, and I think we need to change that. And I think this report was a big first step in making those specific changes,” said Hashimoto.
He said a lot of it had to do with overcrowding which is a problem with other jails in the state. The lack of staffing was also an issue that still needs to be addressed.
“We need to sit down with this new director to see how much he has made progress in bringing down the vacancy rate because I think that was one of the biggest challenges. People were just worn out and tired and they needed more help,” said Hashimoto.
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As to why the repairs are being done three years later, he said lawmakers had to make a decision on funding because there are plans to build a new Maui jail. A spokeswoman for PSD declined to comment on why the final report has not been released.