Inmates wreck module at MCCC after staff advise them to return to their cells
According to the Department, detainees wrecked an entire module at MCCC after staff advised them to return to their cells.
Inmates also set fire to another module and broke the facility's fire sprinkler unit.
The damage is so extensive that 94 inmates in that module were relocated to other modules. Now instead of four inmates per cell, some are forced to bunk with five.
"At the time of the incident, we were at 132% capacity with more than 410 inmates in a space intended for 301," Department of Public Safety Nolan Espinda said. "Conditions surrounding overcrowding create tense moments in the institution and problems."
Overcrowding has been an issue at the Maui jail for years. According to state lawmakers, broken AC units and deteriorating conditions could've set inmates off even more. And more needs to be done to upgrade Hawaii's jails and prisons.
"If people get incarcerated I think they're entitled at least to have the idea that if they're going to be held by government that the government is going to make every effort to make sure that they're safe as they stay within the system," Espinda said.
According to Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino, he's on board with the initiative.
"I stand to work with the state, to do whatever we can to make sure facilities are upgraded to handle today's inmates in a humanistic matter," Mayor Victorino said.
The Department says corrections officers eventually calmed inmates down using pepper spray and hard restraints.