Maui jail will continue ‘contact visits’ despite Capobianco’s contraband arrest

Another investigation is underway for Steven Capobianco, who was found guilty of murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend, and is currently incarcerated at the Maui Community Correctional Center until his sentencing next month.

This time, Capobianco was caught with contraband, something officials say is an ongoing problem in our jails.

It happened at around 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. A 49-year-old woman attempted to pass suspected illegal narcotics to the 27-year-old during a visit. Corrections officers noticed what was happening and arrested both the woman and Capobianco.

Capobianco could face another felony charge on top of his murder charge.

In October 2016, the Department of Public Safety switched to “no-contact” visits to reduce contraband at Oahu Community Correctional Center, so we wanted to know, will MCCC change its policies as well?

We learned prisoners there are allowed to meet their visitors in a controlled environment, face-to-face in a room. That’s how the female visitor tried to pass off drugs, wrapped in black tape, to Capobianco.

Committee on Public Safety Chair Sen. Clarence Nishihara says he remembers MCCC as “an old prison with a fence. It doesn’t look like much. That’s why they need to improve it. It’s really an old facility.

“On the neighbor islands, it’s pretty much like rooms where they sit at tables.” he said. “I don’t think there’s consideration right now to do what they did to OCCC. I think there will be a cost to do that. The sheer number of people incarcerated would preclude having to do that.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Public Safety tells us it does not currently have plans for MCCC to convert to no-contact visits. “The jail’s original design was meant to accommodate contact visits so inmates and families could have that important connection. Reinforcing that familial bond is an important part of their eventual reintegration back into their communities.”

The DPS adds that “our corrections officers go through extensive training to learn how to identify suspicious behavior and potentially harmful situations.”

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