Inmate mistakenly released from OCCC

Tightening security at one state prison, while dealing with the mistaken release of an inmate at another jail. That’s what happened Tuesday at two Oahu facilities.

Tuesday evening KHON2 reported on security improvements being made at Halawa Correctional Facility as the public safety director spoke about new, no-contact procedures.

Hours later, KHON2 learned that an inmate was accidentally released from Oahu Community Correctional Center. The incident happened at around 8 p.m.

“It’s not good, not good for the public,” said Waipahu resident Terry Gallegos.

According to the state, the inmate had several charges against him. He was acquitted of some of the charges, but not all, and was accidentally released.

The captain on duty realized there was a mistake in the paperwork.

Corrections officers went after the inmate to bring him back, but they didn’t have to go very far. The inmate was waiting at a bus stop just outside the facility.

“I think that’s wrong on the prison’s behalf,” said Ewa resident Alex Book. “I thought it was easy to get in and hard to get out, but it seems to be easy to get out now.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened.

Last September, Edward Robins, 51, was accidentally released. Sheriffs found him two days later.

In October of 2008, Anthony Williams, 48, was released because of missing paperwork and wasn’t located until almost a week later.

In October of 2000, 10 inmates were mistakenly released from Halawa Correctional Facility. All 10 were either found or turned themselves in.

When asked what prisons need to do to improve, one Kalihi resident said, “Maybe their staff needs to get more supervised or trained better.”

“Double checking and triple checking their numbers I guess,” Book added.

A Dept. of Public Safety spokesperson said the state will not do any interviews on this matter, and in a statement said: “We are looking into the issue and re-evaluating release procedures at this time.”

The state said because of security concerns, officials cannot talk about release procedures from prison.

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