18 Hawaiian COs punished for contraband, other violations
State Rep.: “To me, the misconduct cases speak to the need to conduct searches of ACOs when they report to work and when they leave”
By Keoki Kerr
Hawaii News Now
HONOLULU — Disciplinary records released by the Public Safety Department Tuesday showed that 18 corrections officers were punished for wrongdoing in 2014 for everything from contraband violations to mistakenly releasing an inmate before his sentence was served. Six correctional officers – the most of any disciplinary category last year -- were punished for breaking contraband rules.
Mark Damas was the only correctional officer fired last year, for breaking contraband rules in a big way.Damas admitted to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to smuggle crystal meth into Halawa prison and was sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison.
Five other guards, known as adult corrections officers, were suspended for anywhere from three to 15 days without pay for taking their own cell phones into prison facilities.
“To me, the misconduct cases speak to the need to conduct searches of ACOs when they report to work and when they leave. To me, that would weed out the cases in which they bring in, accidentally or not, contraband,” said State Rep. Gregg Takayama, who chairs the State House public safety committee.