Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Saturday, June 15, 2024 83° Today's Paper


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Remembering those who died in Hawaii’s correctional facilities

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People gathered in front of Oahu Community Correctional Center on Good Friday in memory of the 23 inmates who died in Hawaii correctional facilities in 2021 and to honor Joseph O’Malley, who committed suicide while under observational care at Halawa Correctional Facility in 2017. The vigil was organized by Faith Action for Community Equity and featured prayer, music, speakers and lei draping upon the correctional facility’s chainlink fence fronting Kamehameha Highway. Pictured draping lei is Shase Ahina who was just released from OCCC.
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Central Union Church Rev. Brandon Duran leads a prayer on Friday in front of OCCC.
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Holding a sign on Friday bearing the name of Joseph O’Malley is Jenny Steele. “I am a supporter of getting treatment not prisons,” she said.
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Michael O’Malley speaks on Friday. He is Joseph O’Malley’s adoptive father who filed a lawsuit against the state. “During the last four years there were many times I wanted to just quit because it was so difficult emotionally,” he said. The lawsuit ended with a judge awarding an unprecedented $1.375 million in March. “The state stipulated to liability. ‘We admit everything. We did it. We caused his death.’ The only thing to talk about was how much do we pay for his life? And then the whole point of their argument was that his life was worthless. They wanted to pay something like ten grand,” said O’Malley, who is a lawyer.
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Rev. Brandon Duran of Central Union Church drapes a lei on Friday.
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Michael O’Malley drapes a lei on Friday.
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Shase Ahina, who was just released from OCCC, drapes a lei on Friday.
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Pictured are the hands of Central Union Church Rev. Brandon Duran during prayer on Friday.