The infestation is confined to the Honolulu jail’s Module 20, which houses up to 120 inmates participating in the work furlough program.
The Oahu Community Correctional Center, where select inmates participate in a work furlough program.
Chad Blair/Civil Beat
Instead of relying on spot treatments like spraying and mattress replacements, the Hawaii Department of Public Safety began cordoning off the module Thursday to conduct “tenting” work, which allows the entire area to be fumigated.
While the three-day work continues, the inmates have been relocated to the Laumaka Work Furlough Center a block away.
“The health and well-being of our staff as well as the inmates is our top priority,” Nolan Espinda, the director of public safety, said in a statement. “Instead of waiting to see if spot treatment is working, our warden took preventative measures and ordered tenting to be done to keep the situation from turning into an infestation.”
Bedbugs have been a recurring problem at OCCC.
According to Toni Schwartz, public safety spokeswoman, the tenting fumigation was also conducted in May 2014.
“Bedbugs are a common problem for corrections systems nationwide,” Schwartz said. “It is mostly concentrated to areas where the population leaves and returns to the facility, such as furlough housing. We do routine preventative measures whenever the bedbugs start showing up.”
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