In the Media
Hawaii News Now
Prison reform advocates outraged over $10M allocated for …
Prison reform advocates outraged over $10M allocated for new OCCC … officials are advocating for a new Oahu Community Correctional Center.
May 9, 2023
The Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview: Former Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Mike Wilson
Judges and justices must retire at 70, but Wilson is as engaged as ever with environmental issues and criminal justice reform.
April 30, 2023
Situation is critical: Some inmates released from HCCC …
“HCCC has been I think the worst facility I’ve seen,” said Christin Johnson, Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission coordinator.
April 25, 2023
Judge: ‘Seeing Is Believing’ When It Comes To ‘Atrocious’ Conditions At The Hilo Jail
Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen is frustrated that judges on the Big Island are releasing people who were arrested for multiple felonies…
March 27, 2023
Legislature Must Fully Fund Correctional System Oversight Commission
Hawaii’s jails and prisons have been part of the hidden world of punishment for decades.
March 15, 2023
Honolulu Civil Beat
Watchdog Cites ‘Inhumane Conditions’ And Security Lapse At Oahu Jail
The correctional oversight commission observed gates left open and continued problems with the electronic medical records system at the Oahu jail.
March 13, 2023
West Hawaii Today
‘Still more to be done’ HCCC facility has seen improvements following commission’s report, but it’s…
A sign about ongoing mechanical and electrical system repairs is displayed last week in front of the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo.
March 5, 2023
Body and Digital Cameras Could Be Required at State Correctional Facilities
HONOLULU-HI (KITV4) Sexual assault at the women’s community correctional center is unfortunately not a new problem. The Hawaii Correctional System Oversight…
March 1, 2023
Oahu Women’s Prison May Have To Install Cameras In Control Booths
A measure that would require the Hawaii prison system to finally install digital cameras in the control booths used by corrections officers who supervise…
February 6, 2023
Lawmakers Want More Information Made Public On Inmate Deaths In State Prisons And Jails
State lawmakers are pressing corrections officials to post a public notice each time a prison or jail inmate dies in custody, and want information on the…
January 31, 2023
Death Of An 87-Year-Old Inmate At Halawa Prison Was Covid-Related
The Hawaii Department of Health has determined the death of an 87-year-old prisoner at Halawa Correctional Facility last month was related to Covid-19,…
January 20, 2023
Gov. Josh Green Wants ‘A Better Proposal’ For New Oahu Jail
The Hawaii correctional system is requesting another $25 million to pay for planning and procurement of a new jail on Oahu, but Gov. Josh Green has told his…
January 20, 2023
Hawaii State Prison EHR Outage Limits Provider Access to Health Records
January 05, 2023 – The Hawaii state correctional system’s EHR has not worked properly since June, hampering provider access to health records for many…
Hawaii News Now
To address staffing shortfalls, 12-hour shifts proposed for adult corrections officers
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Staffing shortages have another law enforcement agency considering out-of-the-box shift changes to attract new applicants.
Jan 5, 2023
Preventing Prison Rapes: The Fight For Video Cameras At Hawaii’s Women’s Prison Continues
Poor video monitoring in the facility’s control stations has been an issue for years and a recent inspection found only 40% of the cameras worked.
Dec 29, 2022
Hawaii’s Prison Medical Records System Has Reached A Point of ‘Absolute Crisis’
The state correctional system is struggling with an electronic medical records system that hasn’t worked properly since June, and medical staff at Hawaii…
Dec 16, 2022
Hawaii News Now
These inmates have access to better facilities. The price? They’re 3,000 miles from home
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Eloy, Arizona is in the middle of the desert ― about an hour from Phoenix. It’s a sharp contrast from Hawaii.
Dec 14, 2022
Hawaii Prison Inmate Faces The Death Penalty For A 2010 Murder In An Arizona Prison
An Arizona jury last week found prisoner Miti Maugaotega Jr. guilty of first-degree murder and will now decide if he should be executed,…
Dec 11, 2022
Jury Decides Warden Isn’t Liable For Sexual Assaults In Hawaii Women’s Prison
Lawyers for women who were sexually abused say they will ask a federal judge to overturn the jury’s decision.
Nov 16, 2022
Hawaii’s New Governor Will Have To Make Some Hard Decisions On Crime And Punishment
Max Otani, the outgoing director of the state Department of Public Safety, has a wish list and a warning for the next governor of Hawaii.
Nov 6, 2022
Lawsuit: Working Cameras Needed To Prevent Sexual Assaults At Women’s Prison
This is the second federal trial in the civil case dealing with claims by women inmates who say they were assaulted in the control booths of the facility.
Nov 1, 2022
Hawaii News Now
‘High tensions’ at Hilo jail because of lack of services, overcrowding
I’ve been to nearly 50 corrections facility across the country and I’ve never seen one in this condition, ever.”
Oct 29, 2022
Judge: Prison Officials Must Release Names Of Inmates Who Die In Custody
A Hawaii Circuit Court judge on Tuesday ruled the state Department of Public Safety must release the names of prison and jail inmates who die in state…
Oct 26, 2022
Another Death At The Maui Jail Is Apparently A Suicide
A 44-year-old Molokai woman who died at the Maui Community Correctional Center Monday night apparently committed suicide, making her the sixth prisoner to…
Oct 20, 2022
Panel Report: Start Over On Plan For A New Oahu Jail
A new report could be the focus of legislative discussions this coming session on a long touted and often criticized new Oahu jail facility.
Oct 19, 2022
Big Island Now
Neighbors of overcrowded jail in residential area of Hilo want …
During an Oct. 5 meeting of the Hawaiʻi County Council Committee on … the Hawai’i Correctional System Oversight Commission issued a report…
Oct 16, 2022
Lawmakers OK resolution calling for relocation of HCCC
The Hawaii County Council and a state oversight commission agree that the Hawaii Community Correctional Center should be moved to a different location.
Oct 6, 2022
West Hawaii Today
‘There’s going to be a breaking point’
KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Deputy Public Defender Jon Ikenaga urged the state’s high court to reduce the population at Hawaii jails – Hawaii Community…
Oct 2, 2022
Some Inmates Were Stuck At The Hilo Jail Because They Couldn’t Post $15 Bail
A state prisons expert says she was surprised by how bad the conditions are at the Big Island corrections facility.
Sep 23, 2022
Big Island Video News
Concerns Raised At Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center
HILO, Hawaiʻi – A Hawaiʻi Correctional System Oversight Commission report details issues found during an August 25th tour of the “egregiously overcrowded”…
Sep 11, 2022
Report outlines ‘egregious’ overcrowding, other issues at Hilo Community Correctional Center
A damaging report by the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission revealed unsuitable conditions at Hilo’s exceedingly crowded correctional facility.
Sep 9, 2022
West Hawaii Today
Overcrowding at HCCC ‘a serious and immediate concern’
A report by the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission details the effects of chronic overcrowding at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo.
Sep 7, 2022
Lack Of Working Video Cameras At Hawaii Prisons Complicates Abuse Investigations
The Women’s Community Correctional Center has a long history of allegations of sexual misconduct, and broken cameras make it harder to prove cases.
Sep 6, 2022
Hawaii Oversight Commission Finds ‘Unacceptable’ Conditions At The Crowded Hilo Jail
Corrections officials agree to transfer inmates to a prison on Oahu to ease dangerous overcrowding at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center.
Sep 2, 2022
‘An Epic Fail:’ Hawaii Inmate Medical Records System Hasn’t Worked Right For Months
A top prison official said computer updates weren’t done for the system, and health workers at Hawaii’s jails and prisons lost access to thousands of…
Aug 28, 2022
How A ‘First Step’ In Prison Reform Sparked A Public Backlash And A Likely Veto
More than three years ago, a panel of Hawaii’s police chiefs, judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers came up with a package of proposals to overhaul the…
Jun 26, 2022
Letters: Teach the public how to recycle properly; Give new HPD chief a break from criticism; There are bet…
Unfortunately, it will take much more than the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission’s tepid call for the already overburdened…
Jun 21, 2022
Staffing Shortages At The Oahu Jail Are Raising Alarms About Safety And OT Costs
Employees at Hawaii’s largest jail say short staffing at the facility has reached a crisis point that is putting both inmates and exhausted corrections…
Jun 13, 2022
Investigation Shows Hawaii Prison Officials Tried To Cover Up Errors Leading Up To An Inmate’s Death
The internal affairs report claimed staff had been trained in suicide prevention policies, and a guard made the required cell checks.
May 19, 2022
An Inmate’s Suicide Is Prompting Calls For ‘Meaningful Change’ In Hawaii’s Prison System
The prison director told an oversight commission that the correctional system is trying to prevent inmate suicide but can do better.
May 19, 2022
Hawaii’s Prison Oversight Commission Finally Gets A Staffer – 3 Years Later
The lack of staff has effectively hobbled the work of the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission.
Apr 25, 2022
The decade-long effort to replace Oʻahu’s outdated and overcrowded jail continues. To date the state has spent nearly 10 million dollars in planning and…
Mar 30, 2022
Honolulu Civil Beat
The Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview: Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Kat Brady
As coordinator of the Community Alliance on Prisons she lobbies lawmakers and other officials for a more humane system. It’s an uphill battle.
Mar 28, 2022
Debate Over Who Should And Shouldn’t Be In Jail Is Tripping Up Plans For A New Oahu Facility
The seemingly endless debate over bail reform in Hawaii has taken a new turn this year after a key House lawmaker declared she will block the funding needed…
Mar 25, 2022
Planning for new Oahu jail hits snag over state funding
… two years ago to initiate reform in Hawaii’s correctional system. The Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission took a position…
Mar 29, 2022
Restorative Justice Group Calls For Sweeping Reform Of Women’s Prison System
A group of prominent women is pushing for a complete overhaul of Hawaii’s women’s prison system through a slew of bills under consideration by the…
February 24, 2022
Planning Costs Climb For New Oahu Jail As Debate Drags On Over Its Scope
Gov. David Ige is asking lawmakers to put up $15 million next year to design a new jail to replace the aging and inefficient Oahu Community Correctional…
Jan 3, 2022
Corrections Commission Wants To Pause Planning On New …
“We will review the report the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission submits to the legislature and determine the best path forward,”…
Dec 17, 2020
Corrections Commission Again Urges A Pause In Planning For A New Jail
A commission that oversees the Hawaii correctional system is again urging the Department of Public Safety to delay plans for a new Oahu jail while the state…
Dec 16, 2021
Big Island inmates moved to Oahu to address overcrowding in Hilo prison outbreak
The Department of Public Safety reported 107 active cases of COVID19 at Hawaii Community Correctional Center — 103 inmates and 4 staff.
Nov 29, 2021
The Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview: Hawaii Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald
The chief justice talks about adapting to Covid, case backlogs, judicial vacancies, diversity on the bench and budget priorities.
Nov 22, 2021
Civil Beat Files Lawsuit To Learn Who Has Died In State Custody
When it comes to disclosing information about the men and women who die in Hawaii’s prisons and jails, the state Department of Public Safety has been in…
Oct 29, 2021
Hawaii Prisons Are Finally Moving Forward With An ID Program For Inmates
More than four years after the state Legislature passed a law requiring the prison system to issue outgoing inmates with identification cards, corrections…
Oct 21, 2021
Corrections Commission Is Poised to Hire Staff After Two Years Of Delay
More than two years after lawmakers created the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission to act as an independent state watchdog, the commission has…
Oct 1, 2021
Hawaii Public Radio
Parent of Hālawa Inmate Is Concerned Staff Are Not Following …
Seven inmates at the Hālawa Correctional Facility were … who now sits on the state Oversight Commission for Hawaiʻi’s Correctional System,…
Sep 20, 2021
A New Oahu Jail May Need To Be A Lot Bigger In The Near …
Longtime prison reform advocate Kat Brady told the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission after a presentation by Pulitzer/Bogard…
Jul 15, 2021
More Than Half Of Hawaii’s Inmates Have Been Vaccinated …
… we won’t have these type of outbreaks,” Johnson told members of the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission on Thursday.
Jun 25, 2021
Hawaii corrections oversight panel struggling without staffing
The Hawaii Supreme Court in June tasked the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission with helping state officials deal with overcrowding and other…
Aug 20, 2020
Problems Persist As Corrections Officials Struggle To Comply …
Attorney Eric Seitz told members of the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission that his office is pressing for appointment of a…
Aug 19, 2021
Hawaii Legislature Agrees To Defer Pay Raises Ahead Of …
Lawmakers struck a deal Friday to fund a commission tasked with overseeing the state’s correctional system. The Hawaii Corrections Oversight…
Apr 23, 2021
Hawaii Supreme Court Ends Early Release Of Inmates
The court order also said that issues regarding inmate populations should be dealt with by the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission,…
Apr 16, 2021
How major bills in Hawaii fared at the Capitol in 2021
Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission so that it can hire an oversight coordinator and support staff.
May 4, 2021
State Has Spent Nearly $10 Million So Far Planning A New …
… the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission on Thursday. … Current plans call for a facility with room for about 1,044 jail…
Feb 18, 2021
State Seeks Someone To Build And Finance New Oahu Jail
But the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission, which includes former Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai and two…
Feb 2, 2021
Has Saguaro Prison Failed To Protect Hawaii Inmates From …
Saguaro Correctional Center, where inmates from Hawaii, Nevada, … but Hyun told the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission on…
Nov 19, 2020
A Catastrophe Is Growing At Oahu’s Jail – Honolulu Civil Beat
For decades Hawaii has participated in a mass incarceration binge, … that the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission — a new…
Sep 1, 2020
AG Won’t Release Information On COVID-19 Outbreak At …
At the Monday meeting of the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Itomura interrupted a question…
Aug 27, 2020
70 more OCCC inmates, 7 corrections officers test positive for coronavirus; Public Defender’s office peti…
With only testing of inmates in only two of the 19 housing modules at the Kalihi jail completed, Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said he expects there…
Aug 12, 2020
Hawaii Supreme Court ends its inmate-release program meant to curb coronavirus spread
Since the initial order was issued in April, more than 650 inmates have been released.
Jun 5, 2020
Hundreds of Hawaii inmates freed from overcrowded facilities to limit exposure to COVID-19
More than 650 inmates at Hawaii’s correctional centers have been released since March in the ongoing effort to reduce crowding in jails and prisons and to…
May 1, 2020
Hawaii Prison Plan For COVID-19 Emphasizes Hygiene Over …
Mark Patterson, chair of the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission, said the pandemic response plan does not address the…
Mar 26, 2020
Critics: New Hawaii Prison Commissioners Too Connected To …
The correctional system oversight commission, which has a budget of $160,000 for fiscal year 2020, is supposed to keep the Hawaii Department…
Dec 12, 2019
Governor Ige appoints former prisons director Ted Sakai to new corrections oversight commission MEDIA RELEASE. HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige appointed former prisons director Ted Sakai to the new Hawai‘i Correctional System Oversight Commission..
Oct 30, 2019
Senate Shoots Down Proposal To Buy Underused Federal …
Hawaii’s correctional facilities are so overcrowded that it has about … establishing the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission.
Mar 19, 2019