Maui Community Correctional Center, Wailuku, Hawaii
April 14, 2019
Two pretrial detainees kicked open a “termite-eaten” door while guards slept and escaped the prison. One of the prisoners, Barret “BJ” Paman, turned himself in to law enforcement later that day, stating that he escaped because the conditions at the prison were so bad. According to his lawyer, Paman “voluntarily turned himself in as soon as he felt safe.” Paman waived his rights to remain silent in order to speak out about conditions at the prison.
The second detainee was arrested the following day.
The prison was the site of an uprising approximately one month before, in which prisoners damaged infrastructure and started a fire after a failed negotiation session with prison administration over complaints about prison conditions.
Paman’s statement about how he escaped is corroborated by recent news regarding the security flaws at the prison. According to a recent letter from staff at the prison detailing security flaws and deplorable conditions, “every single security feature and locking mechanism within these Modules [is[ utterly obsolete; consequently, every single cell and module door can be manipulated, overridden, bypassed and breached by majority of the inmate population.”
“Hawaii prison escapee says guards were asleep when he ran“, Associated Press, April 27, 2019.
“Uprising at Maui Community Correctional Center, Hawaii“, Perilous, March 11, 2019.