Hawaii jail investigating Friday night inmate riot

Preliminary reports show inmates broke plexiglass windows and started a small fire

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
HILO, Hawaii — Police and deputy sheriffs were called in to assist the Hawaii Community Correctional Center with an inmate riot Friday night, the Department of Public Safety reported on Saturday.

The cause of the unrest is under investigation, adding that inmates will be questioned, HCCC officials said.

HCCC began a lockdown at about 7 p.m. Friday after inmates in one housing module started a disturbance.

The prison's emergency response security team got the approval "to use non-lethal means to gain compliance," and had the situation contained by 9 p.m. without further incident, Public Safety officials said in a news release.

"Staff followed their training to quickly restore order and prevent the situation from escalating," PSD Director Max Otani said.

HCCC's health care staff evaluated the inmates for injuries and found no major injuries to staff or inmates.

Preliminary reports show inmates broke plexiglass windows and started a small fire, which was quickly put out.

Hawaii County police and state deputy sheriffs were called in and stood by to assist if needed, PSD Deputy Director for Corrections Tommy Johnson said.

Johnson commended the HCCC staff, including those who came in to assist co-workers and for bringing order to the module effectively and professionally. He also thanked police and deputy sheriffs.

Those housed in the module where the riot occurred are inmates awaiting trial.

Public Safety officials said that inmates found culpable will be criminally and administratively charged.
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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