PDS NEWS RELEASE: GROUNDBREAKING FOR NEW HOUSING CONSTRUCTION HELD AT WOMEN’S COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL CENTERPosted on Jul 12, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom
HONOLULU – The Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC), located at 42-477 Kalaniana’ole Highway in Kailua, is the only facility in Hawaii specifically serving the needs of pre-trial and sentenced female offenders. On July 12, 2021, after years of planning, the Department of Public Safety held a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the start of construction of important improvements to WCCC including:
- A new 176-bed housing unit.
- A new administration building to replace the current obsolete structure.
- A new visitation/intake building.
- Improved employee/visitor parking and improved access to/from Kalaniana’ole Highway.
In 2018, the Hawaii Legislature appropriated $40 million for new consolidated housing and other related improvements to WCCC to allow for the transfer of all female pre-trial detainees from the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC). Relocating females from OCCC to WCCC will improve living conditions, expand treatment and rehabilitation services for women, and increase opportunities for family visitation.
“This long-awaited project will provide women with better access to services and improved living conditions. The new addition will also help ease some of the overcrowding at OCCC. As the state’s largest jail, OCCC’s primary population is male pre-trial detainees, and it’s a daily challenge to house females within the jail and provide program space,” said Governor David Ige.
“Improving WCCC to accommodate females from OCCC has been a goal of the Department for many years,” said PSD Director Max Otani, “and today we’re taking a giant step toward realizing that goal”. An upgraded and expanded WCCC will help us house the current population while providing the critical space and resources that female offenders need to successfully return to their communities.”
“This is the first major correctional facility construction project since the Halawa Medium Security Facility was completed in 1998,” said Curt Otaguro, Department of Accounting and General Services Comptroller. “This is the first of several on-going projects that we are working on with the Department of Public Safety to address inmate overcrowding and to modernize infrastructure and security technology.”
Construction is expected to take approximately two years.
Video, soundbites, and pictures from today’s groundbreaking can be found here:
Groundbreaking picture (left to right)
Eric Tanaka – WCCC Warden
Calvin Pagharion – WCCC Chief of Security
Max Otani – PSD Director
Senator Clarence Nishihara – Senate District 17 – Chair of Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs
Senator Jarrett Keohokalole – Senate District 24 – Chair of Health Committee
Representative Lisa Marten – House District 51
Curt Otaguro – Comptroller, Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS)
Esther Kia’aina – Councilmember – District 3
Curt Otaguro, DAGS Comptroller
Max Otani, PSD Director
Eric Tanaka, WCCC Warden