EXTENSIVE SEARCH PRODUCES INITIAL SITES FOR NEW OAHU COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL CENTER (OCCC)
News Release from Hawaii Department of Public Safety November 21, 2016
HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD) announced today an initial list of 11 sites identified for the redevelopment of the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC). The initial list will be further reviewed against common criteria to produce a short list of sites that will proceed through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.
OCCC is an aged and obsolete facility that does not meet the current needs of inmates, visitors,volunteers, staff and the general public. The proposed new OCCC will modernize the jail by taking advantage of new cost-savings technologies and improve correctional services and safety for both inmates and staff.
“Everyone knows we need to replace OCCC and this is the first step to a much-needed new facility,” said PSD director Nolan Espinda. “The next step is to reduce the list by applying criteria that includes the cost to develop as well as proximity to the courts and services. The final list will go through a stringent EIS process where public input will help us identify the best location.”
Over the past several months PSD has focused its efforts on identifying properties capable of accommodating development of a new OCCC. In doing so, PSD examined sites that were legislatively identified, previously studied, presented in response to the public site offer form, or otherwise offered up for consideration by other interested parties.
The search to identify properties was extensive and PSD sought out the Oahu real estate community, property owners with large land holdings and state and federal agencies in its search for possible sites. Relying upon these sources, 11 sites, clustered within the Kalihi, Aiea, Kalaeloa and Mililani areas, have been identified for initial consideration.
Identifying, evaluating, and ultimately selecting the best site options for developing a new OCCC will ensure that Hawaii’s criminal justice system functions in a high-quality manner while addressing the need for modern, efficient and cost-effective institutions for current and future offender populations. Development of a new OCCC will allow PSD to accomplish its mission, meet the needs of current and future offender populations, and provide for the continued security of offenders, staff and the public at large.
Information concerning the prospective sites, including photographs and a summary of each site’s attributes, are included in OCCC Newsletter Vol. 5 currently found on the PSD-OCCC project website: http://dps.hawaii.gov/occc-future-plans.
In the weeks ahead, all prospective sites will be screened, rated, and ranked to determine sites judged best meeting OCCC siting criteria. Sites that most closely address the State’s and PSD’s siting criteria will be recommended for in-depth study in the form of the EIS process that will also identify a preferred alternative OCCC location while justifying the elimination of the least suitable sites. Sites that do not meet the State’s and PSD’s siting criteria will not be subject to the EIS process.