Hawaii’s jails have reduced the inmate population by more than 800 people since March 2, the public safety department says.

More than half of those were Oahu inmates, according to the latest figures from the department.

Toni Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, said Thursday that there are now 757 inmates at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, where the operating capacity is 954.

Those involved in the state’s criminal justice system, including judges, public defenders, prosecutors and others, have been working to make room in the correctional facilities to mitigate the risks of COVID-19.

A court-appointed special master is overseeing the process, which has mostly focused on the jails thus far. Jails house people who are awaiting trial or are serving sentences of one year or less, as opposed to prisons, where sentenced inmates serve longer terms.

We appreciate gifts of any amount

Civil Beat is a nonprofit, reader-supported newsroom based in Hawaii. When you give, your donation is combined with gifts from thousands of your fellow readers, and together you help power the strongest team of investigative journalists in the state.

Every little bit helps. Will you join us?

About the Author