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Relief For Hawaii Island's Overcrowded Jail Said To Be On The Way

pixabay/Creative Commons
pixabay/Creative Commons

HILO — Hawaii state officials have announced plans to expand the Big Island’s only jail by adding a new $12.8 million medium-security building amid concerns about overcrowding.

West Hawaii Today reported Friday that the Hawaii Community Correctional Center was designed to hold 226 inmates across two Hilo campuses, but recorded more than 400 inmates last month.

Jail warden Peter Cabreros says the jail processes about 5,000 inmates a year.

Officials say construction of the new unit is about a year away.

Officials say an environmental assessment anticipates room for up to 144 inmates, but funds allow 48 beds in 2-bed cells and an optional expansion for another 32 beds.

Some neighbors oppose the expansion saying the jail is too close to nearby schools less than 500 feet from the facility.

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