comscore Report: Replacement for OCCC could cost taxpayers $673 million | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Report: Replacement for OCCC could cost taxpayers $673 million

  • STAR-ADVERTISER

    Two guard towers at Oahu Community Correctional Center, as seen from Kamehameha Highway on Sept. 20. Replacing Hawaii’s largest jail may cost an estimated $673 million, although that price tag could be reduced to as little as $433 million if lawmakers and prison officials opt for a less expensive low-rise design, according to a new report from consultants hired to plan and design the proposed facility.

Replacing Hawaii’s largest jail may cost an estimated $673 million, although that price tag could be reduced to as little as $433 million if lawmakers and prison officials opt for a less expensive low-rise design, according to a new report from consultants hired to plan and design the proposed facility.

State lawmakers have long wanted to replace Oahu Community Correctional Center, arguing OCCC’s 16-acre site in urban Honolulu along the planned rail line should be redeveloped for housing or other commercial uses.

OCCC also has an outdated, sprawling design that requires high staffing levels, and the facility is both overcrowded and inefficient to run. Construction of the main jail at OCCC was completed in 1982

Prison officials on Wednesday announced they have narrowed the search for a replacement site for OCCC to four sites, including the current Halawa Correctional Facility site and the state Department of Agriculture’s Animal Quarantine Facility site in Halawa Valley.

Also included as finalists are the current OCCC site in Kalihi, and “Lot 17” in the Mililani Technology Park. The plan is to do further evaluation of those sites in an environmental impact statement before making a final selection.

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  • I wonder if building the prison either underground or partially underground would be cheaper? No guard towers needed, right? Or just send the inmates to the mainland?

  • Our political elite and their pals are all eagerly eyeing development of the OCCC jail site so you can bet that OCCC will not be rebuilt on that site. Halawa Valley will probably
    be the site eventually selected due to its proximity to the main prison facility (Halawa Correctional) and the absence of any nearby developed lands. It will also be located for
    easy access to town and the airport. As far as cost, it is what it is and the money whatever the cost will be well spent as a new prison/jail facility is long overdue and been
    kicked down the road for too long. A new facility should have been build back when Ben Cayetano was governor but he only went thru the motions but never wanted to pull the
    trigger on building a facility, I think largely for philosophical reasons.
    Thus began the use of mainland prison facilities to house our inmates, which was not always a bad thing as some of the prison facilities were better and it perhaps broke the
    inmates away from negative influences here. Eventually however the need to build prison/jail facilities was going have to be faced and so it seems that time has arrived.

  • How many prisoners to house? I assume if site is moved from current Kalihi location, then it will dramatically increase adjacent land values? Who are these owners? Politics in play? I hope the state is offsetting the development costs for a new prison with sale of Kalihi site if the new prison is built elsewhere. Probably another 3-4 years of debate before decision is made. How to pay? At least 10 years out before a new prison built. Maybe we can reduce the sentencing for folks who are serving low violence crimes or serving time because of pakalolo sale?
    Hopefully new prison will teach the prisoners to learn some real skills and adjust to society when they leave. Need a strong and robust half way house type of program so ex-prisoners have chance to assimilate and pickup good habits, esp going to work or school. Many are probably good folks who strayed….

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