The warden at Honolulu’s Federal Detention Center wants incoming state transfers to wear masks when they enter, be quarantined for 14 days and follow other conditions before they enter the facility’s general population.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons this week agreed to allow up to 100 inmates from the state corrections system to be housed temporily at its facility near the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport beginning Monday. Gov. David Ige asked for the transfer to ease overcrowding in hopes of reducing the potential for widespread infection of the coronavirus within state jails and prisons.
The state has had a pre-pandemic contractual agreement for a number of its inmates at FDC and there are currently 94 inmates there, according to DPS.
But since March 13, intakes from the state have been suspended, Espinda said. That edict was reversed Wednesday.
FDC Warden H. Kobayashi, in a letter to DPS Director Nolan Espinda Wednesday, asked that state inmates arrive in vans no more than 10 at a time.
“I … ask that all inmates being transported to the FDC be wearing surgical masks upon arrival,” Kobayashi said. “All inmates received will be placed in 14-day quarantine regardless of status.”
As an additional precaution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, “any inmate who shows symptoms while intake screening will result in the specific transport being entirely rejected,” Kobayashi wrote. “All inmates picked up and transported for State Court Line from the FDC will not be allowed to return until further notice.”
Kobayashi added: “I regret my response cannot be more favorable, but trust you understand the importance of measures implemented within the FDC to maintain the health of our staff and the inmates in our custody during this time of National Health Emergency.”