State corrections officials transported 21 pre-trial detainees to Hālawa Correctional Facility today who were identified as participants in Monday's riot at a Maui jail.
The Department of Public Safety said in a press release that the transfer to a more secure facility was necessary given the circumstances.
Monday’s disturbance at Maui Community Correctional Center resulted in minor injuries to two inmates and significant facility damage, according to the department.
Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said the motive for the riot appears to be dissatisfaction with “extreme” overcrowding.
Carrie-Ann Shirota of the Hawaiʻi Jusice Coalition says a major factor contributing to overcrowding at MCCC is the high number of pre-trial detainees.
These are individuals who have been accused of a crime but are not yet convicted. They remain in jail while they wait for their day in court.
"The severe overcrowding and inhumane conditions at MCCC is a consequence of deliberate policy decisions," Shirota said. "All have contributed to mass incarceration and putting men and women who are not a threat to the public at MCCC and holding them pre-trial status."
Shirota said half of the inmates at the Maui jail are awaiting trial. She called for criminal justice reforms similar to those implemented in other states.
The Public Safety Department is continuing to investigate the cause of the riot.