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Partitions will end contact between inmates and visitors

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 4:31 p.m. HST, Jun 3, 2014

State prison officials have unveiled a no-contact visiting area at Halawa Correctional Facility that officials hope will stop contraband from entering the prison during visitation hours.

Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai said during a media tour of the facility Tuesday that six visitors have been caught trying to bring contraband into the prison in the past year.

Inmates helped build the wood and plexiglass partition that divides the visiting area, which previously was an open area where inmates could sit at a table with visitors.

Officials said the partition has 47 windows where prisoners can meet with their loved ones, allowing the prison to reduce the number of staffers needed from 6 to 4. Visitation days have been routinely canceled due to staffing shortages in the past.

The project cost $100,000 and was finished last month.

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