The following anonymous letter has been distributed to media outlets:
For far too long the "Political Establishment" of this State and the "Bureaucratic Leadership" of The Department of Public Safety have reaped the rewards of their positions of power while the men in women in Blue have borne the costs. Their austere "Budget Cuts" and "Lack of Funding" that represent the pinnacle of success for their careers have been the root cause of our career failures.
We the Corrections Officers at (M.C.C.C.) believe that it is the right of this righteous Public of Maui County to know the inconvenient truth about the current state of their Jail, which is the epicenter and beating heart of Law and Order here in Maui County.
The recent sets of critical incidents that occurred at (M.C.C.C.) on 3/11/19 and were falsely touted as "Disturbances" were indeed full-blown riots.
These riots occurred in Modules A, B, C & D which encompass a total of (60) cells and are staffed by a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 7 officers on any given shift. Built over 20 years ago and designed for a maximum holding capacity of (120) inmates, these Modules are sadly the most up-to-date housing units in our Jail. The Modules were originally designed with security flaws, are relatively old, out-dated and poorly maintained. All of these factors render every single security feature and locking mechanism within these Modules utterly obsolete; consequently, every single cell and module door can be manipulated, overridden, bypassed and breached by majority of the inmate population. These are the security conditions in which we operate under and are considered to be "business as usual" or "normal conditions" by our (C.O.S.), Warden and upper echelons of the department. Right before the riots took place there were (214) inmates housed in the Modules, all playing " pretend lockdown", fully capable of breaching their cell doors at will.
Unsafe operational conditions, inadequate man power, out-dated equipment or lack of proper equipment, a destitute facility in disrepair and decay, incompetent leadership (from the bottom to the top of the Chain of Command) unfit to run the Jail, lack of riot training and constant high in inmate tensions contributed to a toxic environment that boiled over into a full-fledged riot involving (214) inmates.
As riots conditions ensued inmates breached their cell doors, destroyed, damaged and burned everything they could get ahold of. Glass windows, doors, locking mechanisms, thick porcelain sinks and toilets, pipes and fire sprinklers were all destroyed. They lit numerous class A, B, & C fires throughout the Modules burning mattresses, plastic chairs, wooden tables, linens, blankets, sheets, uniforms, toilet paper, trash and cleaning chemicals were all used as fuel. They even attempted to burn officers alive in the Control Boxes forcing them to evacuate. Inmates were assaulting other inmates while toxic smoke and severe flooding were filling the Modules.
We responded by forming riot teams that were ill-equipped or not equipped at all and not a single officer was issued personal protective equipment before entering the Modules. Due to being poorly equip, out numbered and knowing the seriousness of the battle ahead we were scared for our lives but still performed our job duties to the best of our abilities. We breached the Modules through the Rear Outdoor Rec Yard Doors. We took down unruly inmates, securing and extracting them one at a time.
Officers that attempted to carry out and save injured inmates were being assaulted in the process. Through the use of sheer physical force, less than lethal weapons and teamwork we were able to regain control, quell and finally suppress the riots over a period of 8 hours.
The direct aftermath of these riots have resulted in an inhumane, uninhabitable, life threatening environment; but, for the Department of Public Safety and our Supervisors it's "business as usual". Inmates are being forced to live in these conditions and we're being forced to work in these conditions with no protective gear. No abatement processes have been carried out and the air in the Modules contain life threatening particles due to the burning of hazardous materials and toxic chemicals. To make matters worse the Modules are ventilated by a 20 + year old central air conditioning system that has been completely contaminated and unabated as well.
Since 3/11/19 there have been constant inmate uprisings and rebellions, so much so, that the presence of lethal force has been necessary to maintain control and order. The Modules which are supposed to be the most secured place in Maui is now the most unsecured place on Maui.
The State of Hawaii and The Department of Public Safety are violating human rights and stand guilty in showing contempt for human life. Their failure to fully evacuate, quarantine and abate the Modules in a timely manner just goes to show that this department and the people run it care more about their "BUDGET" than human life.
The inconvenient truth about your Jail is that it's not safe, we're not safe and the Public is not safe.
From the staff at M.C.C.C.
UPDATE April 22, 2019: Full Text: Espinda Promises No Retaliation Against PSD Dissidents