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Tuesday, August 25, 2020
COVID Releases: OCCC Inmates Get Free Hotel Rooms
By Selected News Articles @ 4:13 PM :: 1124 Views :: Law Enforcement, COVID-19

Some released OCCC inmates quarantining at Oahu hotels

Star-Adv Aug 25, 2020:

… Some inmates being released from Oahu Community Correctional Center are being isolated or quarantined at Honolulu hotels if they have either tested positive for COVID-19, are awaiting test results or have been in contact with someone testing positive, joining other local residents in similar situations, the Department of Health confirmed Monday.

Health Department officials said they could not say Monday night how many former inmates are being housed at hotels, (Translation: We can't count that high.) but stressed that, like all others eligible to be isolated or quarantined, they must show they cannot quarantine or isolate in residences on their own. They also declined to say where the rooms are located.

“Inmates are being placed in isolation/quarantine units at hotels based on their eligibility and appropriateness for placement,” Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said. “A few have already been placed in the last few weeks. Inmates who have been released are treated the same as people in the community who need support for isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”…

the Hawaii Supreme Court earlier this month agreed to a petition by the Office of the Public Defender to release as many nonviolent inmates as possible from the Kalihi facility as quickly as possible. As of Saturday, 95 had been released directly as a result of the order.

An unknown number of others have been released as part of the normal course of the judicial process. Similarly, new inmates continue to arrive daily.

Deputy Health Director Edward Mersereau, who helms the division, told the five-member commission that hotel rooms and related services such as “low-level medical support and check- in” are being provided to the homeless, former inmates and others who cannot self-isolate on their own….

read … Some released OCCC inmates quarantining at Oahu hotels

DOH Official: Some Inmates Who Were Released Caused ‘Spillover’ Infections

Civil Beat Aug 25, 2020:

… The state’s largest jail is still unable to separate all of the prisoners who tested positive for COVID-19 from those who didn’t, and jail officials have released at least some inmates back into the community who went on to cause infections after they were turned loose, according to staff with the state Department of Health and Department of Public Safety.

Sarah Kemble, deputy state epidemiologist for the Department of Health, told members of the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission Monday it has been “a challenge” to ensure that inmates released from the Oahu Community Correctional Center have appropriate and safe places to go to wait out their 14-day quarantine.

“There is still the issue of, OK, they’ve served their term within the jail, but where are they going to go and avoid causing new outbreaks?” Kemble told the commission. She said some of the community settings where the former inmates often end up “still don’t feel adequately prepared or equipped to handle isolation and quarantine.”

“Many people, as we’re seeing, are going on to other congregate settings, be it a shelter, a halfway house program, recovery program, and we have already seen some spillover into those settings because of people who left while incubating before the scope of the outbreak was defined, and they have led to some additional transmission in other settings.” ….

Meanwhile: COVID-19 Positives Among O'ahu's Homeless Increase As Shelter Options Decrease for criminals not currently in jail

read … DOH Official: Some Inmates Who Were Released Caused ‘Spillover’ Infections

No COVID in Sister Isle Jails – Criminals to be released so they can catch it and bring it back in to the Jail when the get rearrested

HNN Aug 25, 2020:

... Following a petition from the public defender’s office, the state judiciary outlined the conditions for releasing inmates from neighbor island jails.

The Hawaii State Judiciary said Monday that inmates charged with misdemeanors or petty misdemeanors are to set be released by Aug. 26. This excludes inmates accused of family abuse or violating a protection or restraining order.

In order to be eligible for release, they have to test negative for COVID-19.  (If they are positive they need to say in jail and help get the pandemic going in order to create an excuse for more releases.)

So far at correctional centers on Kauai, Maui and Hawaii Island, the Department of Public Safety hasn’t recorded any cases of COVID-19 between inmates or staff….

Meanwhile: Four additional OCCC staff members test positive for coronavirus

read … Some neighbor island inmates facing misdemeanor charges set to be released

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