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Bed bugs infest OCCC module

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 11:38 a.m. HST, Apr 11, 2014

Complaints of a bed bug infestation from inmates at the Oahu Community Correctional Center have prison officials using pesticides, heat, steam and disposing materials like mattresses to eradicate the pests.

Toni Schwartz, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, said it's a continuing problem at the 950-bed Kalihi prison.

"I do not know if it's worse than in the past, but we will do the treatments to get rid of it just like we have done in the past," Schwartz said. "We started eradication procedures after complaints from inmates began coming in last month."

The infestation is confined to OCCC's Module 20, which houses 120 work-furlough inmates.

Work-furlough inmates are allowed to leave the prison daily to participate in programs outside of the facility to help them reintegrate into society before they are released.

"The chances of bed bugs getting into the facility increase due to the transient population in that module," Schwartz said. "Just like with hotels, hospitals and other places that have a lot of transient people in close quarters, bed bugs can become an issue that repeatedly has to be taken care of."

Heat and steam are the best ways to kill bed bugs, she said, adding, "We realize the bed bugs are an issue, not only for inmates but for our staff as well who have to work in that module. We are doing everything we can to get rid of the problem.

"Whenever we get complaints from inmates that there are bed bugs we start procedures to get rid of them."

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HanabataDays wrote:
"The chances of bed bugs getting into the facility increase due to the transient population in that module," Schwartz said. "Just like with hotels, hospitals and other places that have a lot of transient people in close quarters" That doesn't compute. Hotels and hospitals are filled with "transients" who bring the bugs in with them from wherever they normally sleep. In this case, the work-furlough inmates always sleep in the unit. So the notion of these bedbugs coming from "outside" doesn't add up.
on April 11,2014 | 10:02AM
ippikiokami wrote:
Bed bug infestation is highly contagious. Bed bugs travel on the body and clothes of those infected. The risk of sitting next to someone on the bus, a person riding in your car or working along side a carrier dramatically increases the probability of bringing the bed bug curse to your home. The problem is that those living with bed bugs do not tell the people around them, otherwise nobody wants to be around them. A friend once confided about what it is like to have bed bugs and the hell he went through, and to this day, I still keep my distance from him.
on April 11,2014 | 10:31AM
PTF wrote:
It's like ukus.
on April 11,2014 | 11:03AM
issuesgal wrote:
Bed bugs aren't just in beds. They travel on clothing and other things. They are carried in to hotels on the clothing that people are wearing.
on April 11,2014 | 03:50PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Make the prisoners kill them one by one. What else have they got to do all day?
on April 11,2014 | 10:14AM
GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 11,2014 | 10:26AM
false wrote:
I wonder if "Hey sous" had bedbugs on him.
on April 11,2014 | 11:14AM
geralddeheer wrote:
I didn't know God was that sadistic. In this case, the joke is on us. Letting the prisoners suffer is very stupid policy. Failure to aggressively deal with this will result in more infestations outside of the prison. Authorities need to act quickly. A few bed bugs with eggs 'catching' a ride outside the prison is all that is needed.
on April 11,2014 | 07:11PM
gsc wrote:
Good for them .....
on April 11,2014 | 10:28AM
Mahalo wrote:
We need our government to step up and make stiffer laws. Prisoners should not be allowed to sue at all! Of course they are not animals and should not be treated as such, but this isn't the HILTON people if you wanted 1st accommadations then they should have obeyed the laws and gotten a good job and rented out a top notch hotel. But instead they are paying their debt for their crime big or small and sometimes that comes with beg bugs, ukus and some cockroaches and no visits from friends and families. They should not be able to profit from committing crimes. SHAME on those attorneys who take these cases!!!
on April 11,2014 | 11:18AM
twitter6 wrote:
LOL. Karma
on April 11,2014 | 11:57AM
Slow wrote:
It is sad that many internet show-offs like to kick the down-trodden. The U.S. imprisons its population at a higher rate than any other country. Prisoners are serving their time in a PRISON. It is not a Four Seasons. But because the are in prison, some writers here, feel more and more punishment is warranted. Is suffering with bed bugs a part of the corrections experience? Well, alrighty then, turn up the heat, eliminate exercise, pack in more prisoners in each cell, and stop coddling them with nutritious food. Rice and water. Let 'em eat bed bugs.
on April 11,2014 | 12:01PM
pro populus wrote:
Sounds good to me, "Let 'em eat bed bugs."
on April 11,2014 | 12:08PM
maya wrote:
The only way they are going to get rid of the bedbugs is to wash and dry all the clothes, especially they drying part- bedbugs get killed by heat. That means in one day- the wash all gets done and everyone showers. During that day, they have to get exterminators that will enclose the unit and force high heat into the area to kill the bugs. It is not fair to the businesses who have these work furlough inmates on their premises who are maybe carrying bedbugs on their body. If I was one of those businesses, I would definately not have these inmates there until the problem is solved. Bedbugs is costly to eradicate, and could cost a business customers if bedbugs were found at these places.
on April 11,2014 | 03:32PM
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