Department of Public Safety Suspends ‘Non-Essential Programming’

March 23, 2020, 5:10 PM HST · Updated March 23, 5:10 PM
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Hālawa Correctional Facility. Image via Hawai’i Department of Public Safety.

This is a Department of Public Safety informational and procedural update for March 23, 2020.

No inmates have met PUI (Persons Under Investigation) criteria for COVID-19. (Note: schedules and information included in this news release are subject to change at a moment’s notice as the overall situation and the State’s response to COVID-19 evolve day-by-day.)

Work Furlough Program

Effective today 3/23/20 at 4:30 p.m. and until further notice, all inmate work furlough passes are suspended. This is in addition to the already announced suspension of job-seeking and resocialization furlough passes.

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Hawaii Correctional Industries (HCI) outside community service work lines are suspended until further notice.

Correctional Facility Programs and Services

In an effort to limit possible exposure to staff and inmates, all non-essential programming has been temporarily suspended.

Correctional services such as: security, health care, food service, and facility operations/maintenance will continue as scheduled.

Essential medical specialist transports, hospital and emergency transports will continue as needed.

Inmate phone calls

Alternative measures to accommodate inmates during the temporary program suspension include:

  • Increased phone accessibility – Inmates are afforded an unlimited number of pre-paid and collect 15-minute personal phone calls. The personal call duration has been increased to allow up to 30 minutes per call.
  • Free phone calls – GlobalTel Link (GTL) is providing two free five-minute calls per week for the next four weeks.

Previous update information issued 3/20/20:

  • Enhanced screening implemented at entry points to include no-touch temperature checks and verbal health screening questions.
  • Correctional facility entry suspensions include volunteers, non-essential program staff and personal inmate visitors.  (Attorneys and vendors/contractors providing inmate health and safety products and services are still allowed).
  • The Hawaii Paroling Authority (HPA) board suspended all parole hearings for two weeks. Hearings are tentatively scheduled to resume on 4/3/20.

Health care staff have had continuous, open dialogue with the Department of Health, and facility staff are being briefed on the protocol as the situation changes day-by-day.

Staff have been reminded to frequently wash their hands and refrain from touching their faces, per CDC-recommended guidelines. Daily emails with the latest COVID-19 information, guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and from the Hawaii Department of Health are being sent to all employees to keep everyone informed.

 

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