Inmates in Module A at the Maui Community Correctional Center refused to return to their cells briefly Tuesday afternoon, triggering an emergency response from the jail staff, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

According to a written statement from the department, the incident began at about 2 p.m., and “staff immediately activated their emergency response teams to deescalate the situation. It was quickly contained and order restored by 2:45 p.m.”

Guards had to quash an “attempted disturbance” Tuesday at Maui Community Correctional Center. Bryan Berkowitz/Civil Beat/2020

Staff reported that chemical irritants such as pepper spray were used, and the department said Maui Police were put on standby for assistance as a precaution.

“Staff followed their training to quash the attempted disturbance fast. I commend them for effectively and professionally returning calm to the module during these trying times,” said Maria Cook, deputy director for administration.

Inmates are still being evaluated by medical staff for any possible injuries and “a couple” of correctional officers did report minor injuries, according to the statement from the department. “There was no major damage to the module. The module is in order and ready for dinner service.”

Maui police will handle a criminal investigation into the incident, and an internal investigation will be conducted by corrections officials, according to the department.

The Maui jail was the scene of a riot last year in which inmates set fires and did millions of dollars in damage to the facility.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 among staff or inmates at MCCC, according to DPS numbers Tuesday.

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