Vaccination rates among the inmates in Hawaii correctional facilities are increasing, and as of Thursday no prisoners were hospitalized, according to new data from the state Department of Public Safety.

Public Safety Director Max Otani told the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission that as of Tuesday, 92% of the inmates at Halawa Correctional Facility were vaccinated. Halawa is the state’s largest prison.

However, only 56% of the inmates at Hawaii Community Correctional Facility in Hilo had been vaccinated by Tuesday.

Data from Sept. 7 shows that 70% of the inmates at Kauai Community Correctional Center had been vaccinated by that date, while 91% of the prisoners at Kulani Correctional Facility on Hawaii island were vaccinated.

Only 44% of the inmates at Maui Community Correctional Center were vaccinated as of Sept. 7.

On Oahu, meanwhile, 63% of the prisoners at the Women’s Community Correctional Center had been vaccinated by that date, and 88% of the inmates at Waiawa Correctional Facility were vaccinated.

There are currently no known active cases of the virus among the prisoners at Kulani, Waiawa and the women’s facility, according to the department. Saguaro, a privately run prison in Arizona where more than 1,100 Hawaii inmates are housed, also reported no active cases as of Friday.

As of Sept. 1, 47% of the inmates at Saguaro were fully vaccinated, and another 273 prisoners had received their first dose, Otani said.

Oahu Community Correctional Center remains the scene of the largest outbreak among the inmate population at the moment, with 116 Covid-19 cases among the prisoners as of Friday. OCCC is the state’s largest jail, and has been holding about 920 men and women prisoners.

In all, the department reports 2,869 inmates have been infected since the start of the pandemic, and Covid-19 has been blamed for the deaths of at least nine prisoners. Hawaii has a total of about 4,000 prison and jail inmates.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author