Disturbance at Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center Leads to Lockdown Friday Night

Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center. PC: Department of Public Safety, Annual legislative report

A lockdown was implemented at the Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center on Friday night after inmates in one housing module started a disturbance. The facility emergency response security team was given approval to use non-lethal means to gain compliance. The lockdown was implemented at around 7 p.m., and the situation was contained by 9 p.m. without further incident.  

“Staff followed their training to quickly restore order and prevent the situation from escalating,” said PSD Director Max Otani. 

Facility health care staff evaluated the inmates for possible injuries. There are currently no reports received of any major injuries to inmates or staff. Damage is still being assessed, but preliminary reports indicate inmates broke plexiglass windows and started a small fire that was quickly extinguished.

Hawaiʻi Police as well as State Sheriffs were called to the scene and stood by to provide assistance if needed. Tommy Johnson, PSD’s Deputy Director for Corrections, is in Hilo assessing the damage. 

“All HCCC staff on duty, and many who came to the facility to assist their co-workers, are to be commended for effectively and professionally bringing order to the module during these trying times,” said Tommy Johnson, Deputy Director for Corrections. “I also want to thank the Sheriffs and Hawaiʻi Police for coming to the facility and offering their assistance.” 

The cause of the unrest is under investigation and inmates will be questioned.  Any inmates found culpable will be criminally and administratively charged, according to Public Safety officials.

The housing module is located on the Punahele Street side of the facility and houses inmates who are awaiting trial. 

There is currently a COVID-19 outbreak at the Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center, where 99 inmates and 13 staff members had tested positive as of Friday. Two HCCC staff members have since recovered and were medically cleared to return to work on Friday, lowering the number of active cases among staff.

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