Monday, July 09, 2007

New jail planned for Maui

HONOLULU – Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona said Thursday that the administration is “totally committed” to have a new jail built in Puunene.

“We are committed to Puunene so we are going to go ahead with the development and planning with the Puunene site,” Aiona said in a phone interview.

The Puunene jail, which will also be a “community based transition type of facility,” will eventually replace the Maui Community Correctional Center on Waiale Road in Wailuku, he said.

Aiona will be on Maui Saturday to discuss the administration’s plans at a legislative informational meeting about Maui corrections facilities, scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. at the Maui Economic Opportunity Family Living Center in Wailuku.

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Prisons is holding the meeting and will also discuss prison conditions and re-entry and rehabilitation networks.

In the past, consultants said the old Puunene airfield area, which is state land, appeared to be the optimum site for a jail.

Aiona said the jail will probably need to be built in phases as more funding is obtained. Currently around $50 million has been committed to a new corrections facility on Maui.

Aiona estimated that the facility will have more than 200 beds for men and women.

Around 300 inmates are currently housed at MCCC, according to state Department of Public Safety officials.


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