Hawaii’s political figures tour Maui Prison after a major riot

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Governor Ige and his staff are here along with Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda and Maui Mayor Mike Victorino. Governor Ige is also here because he wanted to talk to staff and inmates about their safety and concerns. The leaders met around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon to begin the guided tour. 

“I think it was very gratifying to see how much in repairing much of the damage that had occurred,” said Governor Ige.  

“The intent here today was first hand at the improvement and the catch-up work that has been done the people who are doing it and to thank the staff who has gone through the emotional trauma,” said Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda. 

In March the riot broke out in 2 modules causing significant damage. The common areas and cells were destroyed. A total of 32 inmates who are believed to be responsible for the riot or played a part in it were transferred to Halawa Correctional Facility. Improvements have been made but more work needs to be done.

“Internally we need to replace some of the toilets and fixtures that were damaged. We’re waiting on repairs for those replacement on some doors,” said Espinda.

“The facility was built back in the 80s is expanded but they’re landlocked housing on this side or homeless resource center ever got a cemetery in the back is a reservoir so there is no where else they can go so we definitely need a new facility,” said Maui Mayor Mike Victorino. 

But it’s not that easy. 

“Every jail in the state is overcrowded, old and antiquated and we need to make investments to move forward. It’s a lot of money and the competing funds for classrooms, university facilities and jails all come from the same pot of money,” said Governor Ige. 

In 2016, money was granted to each facility to add more beds. Something MCCC could see as early as July. Governor Ige is looking at private public partnerships to improve all the jails across the state.

The governor is asking asking for $8-million for long-term fixes. Lawmakers are in the process of reviewing the funding proposal in conference committee. 

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