State sets 2010 prison time line
The Puunene facility will provide 840 beds and replace a Maui prison in Wailuku
WAILUKU » The state plans to finish building the first phase of a prison in Puunene by 2010 to replace the Maui Community Correctional Center in Wailuku.
The facility, on 38 acres close to the National Guard Armory, would eventually provide some 840 beds to house pretrial detainees and minimum-security inmates nearly ready for release after serving their sentences.
Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona said yesterday the administration plans to use some $50 million to build nearly two of the three construction phases of the correctional center, enough to house from 475 to 600 people.
He said the $50 million will be applied toward constructing several facilities, including the water and electrical lines, roads and four dormitory facilities.
Aiona said he was not sure about the cost of the third phase.
Aiona said the state will get started with the project before October 2008, the expiration date for $13 million in federal funds.
"We will definitely be into the project by that time," he said.
He said the state administration still needs to complete an environmental assessment and obtain permits for the project.
State Sen. Rosalyn Baker, chairwoman of the state Senate Ways and Means Committee, said there was not much detail in a presentation made to legislators by Aiona on Maui Saturday.
She said she is not sure about the efficiency of the building design.
"We've got to make sure we've got enough bang for the buck," said Baker (D, West Maui-South Maui).
Department of Public Safety officials said the plan is to develop the project in three phases, including the first phase, designed to hold 125 low-security inmates who work under guard on community projects.
The second phase would be designed to house 350 inmates on work furlough who would go out into the community unescorted and return at a designated time.
The third construction phase would be designed to hold 368 pretrial detainees.
The Maui correctional facility in Wailuku was designed to hold 209 male and female inmates and has an operating capacity of 301 people.
The facility has housed as many as 380 but now houses a little more than 300 people, according to state prison officials.