Lockdown on Kulani Correctional Facility lifted

Saturday visits canceled, families can reschedule for Sunday

The Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) announced Saturday afternoon that the lockdown at Kulani Correctional Facility has been lifted.

The correctional facility was locked down originally due to an inmate disturbance.

DPS says that at approximately 6:50 p.m. Friday, an inmate refused to go into his dorm. Other inmates came out to see what was happening.

Staff immediately implemented crisis response procedures to peacefully end the situation. The inmates were sent back to their dorms and a lockdown was initiated.

All inmates were accounted for and no injuries were reported.

Hawaii Community Correctional Center, State Sheriffs and Hawaii County Police were contacted to standby for possible assistance as a precaution.

The circumstances surrounding the situation are under investigation.

As a result of the lockdown and investigation, Saturday visits have been canceled. All scheduled Saturday visitors can reschedule for Sunday.

All other state prison facilities are currently scheduled to hold their regular weekend visits.

Kulani is a minimum security facility. The 280-acre facility was reopened in July 2014, after being closed in 2009.

The Hilo facility holds almost 200 inmates with about 90 staff members.

There’s only one road that leads to Kulani and it’s surrounded by a forest.

When the facility was reopened, then-DPS director Ted Sakai said inmates escaping has never been a problem in years past. As far as contraband, he said “it’s more of a challenge at a place like this because it’s open, as you folks can see. There’s no walls or fences.”

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