Larger jail planned for Oahu with Halawa chosen as new site

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After reviewing several options, the decision is final.

Oahu Community Correctional Center will move to Halawa.

Gov. David Ige says the facility will be built where the Animal Quarantine Station is located.

Earlier this month, the governor formally accepted the Department of Accounting and General Services’ Final Environmental Impact Statement, which outlines plans to build a new jail as well as a new Animal Quarantine Station, and expand the Women’s Community Correctional Center to accommodate female detainees currently housed at OCCC.

OCCC has been severely overcrowded for years. Officials say it currently holds more than 1,200 inmates when it is designed to house 954.

The new jail will have a capacity of more than 1,300 inmates. 

“With this move, we will be able to create a secure, efficient, and cost-effective facility,” said Gov. David Ige. “Moving OCCC to Halawa is also a tremendous opportunity to reposition Kalihi for the future. It frees up the land along the rail route to use for new economic development, affordable housing, and open space as envisioned by the Kalihi community.”

“We want it to be as economically and efficiently designed as possible to keep down the primary course of running an institution, which is manpower. Beyond that, we want to be, of course, culturally sensitive to our population here in Hawaii. More importantly, we really want to focus on rehabilitative techniques best utilized across the country so we can reduce the recidivism rate here in Hawaii,” said Nolan Espinda, director of the state Department of Public Safety.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2023 at an estimated cost of $525 million. Financing options are currently under review, Ige said, including general obligation bond funding and a public-private partnership.

The next steps, according to DAGS, are to obtain the necessary approvals and permits, as well as continued community outreach and education.

Click here to view the final environmental impact statement.

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