The state Department of Public Safety, with help from the Hawaii Army National Guard, transferred 40 sentenced felons today to an Oahu prison from the Hawaii island jail and prison to alleviate overcrowding and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Twenty Hawaii Community Correctional Center inmates and 20 Kulani Correctional Facility inmates were transported using two CH-47F helicopters this morning to Honolulu without incident.
Several adult corrections officers and deputy sheriffs provided in-flight and ground transport security support, PSD said in a release.
Once on Oahu, the inmates were taken to the Halawa Correctional Center, where they were placed in quarantine.
Only vaccinated inmates, and/or those who tested negative and were cleared to travel, were considered for the transfer, the state said.
Maj. Gen. Ken Hara, Adjutant General, Hawaii National Guard said, “This transport mission is critical to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Hawaii’s prison system.”
HCCC has had a large outbreak of COVID-19 among its inmate population and guards.
A total of 259 inmates were COVID positive, out of a total of 1,529 tested. Three are in medical isolation and three are considered active cases. HCCC also had 26 staff who had the coronavirus and recovered.
Today, HCCC reported six negative inmate test results.
“Moving these sentenced felons helped to free up more space for the pretrial custodies at HCCC, PSD Director Max Otani said.
Other large outbreaks of Hawaii inmates include Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona with 657 positive cases, Halawa with 548, Oahu Community Correctional Facility with 461, and Waiawa Correctional Facility with 214.