City Asks Hawaii Hospital to Include Security Measures in Renovation

City Asks Hawaii Hospital to Include Security Measures in Renovation

The request comes after the escape of a psychiatric patient from the facility in November.

As part of Hawaii State Hospital’s application to design and build a new treatment facility, the city wants the campus to increase their security measures. The request comes after the escape of a psychiatric patient from the facility in November.

The hospital’s application for a use permit to design and build a new, self-contained 144-bed facility equipped with the latest technology to track and monitor patients came before the Honolulu City Council Committee. Council member Ikaika Anderson requested the entire grounds be secured as a condition of their application’s approval.  

“I’m asking that this resolution be amended to require the Department of Health to at least seek funding from the legislature to make the State Hospital a secure facility and submit evidence to the Council by January 31, 2018 that that request has been made,” Anderson said.

The request was made less than a month after a patient who was committed to the hospital in 1981 after being acquitted of first-degree murder left the campus and flew to Maui, then California, where he was arrested three days later. The Hawaii State Hospital is run by the Hawaii State Department of Health and houses patients who have committed violent crimes but is not a secure facility.

After the incident, the Department of Public Safety conducted a security audit for the facility. Their security recommendations included adding technology to better monitor patients, changing reporting procedures and putting up a 12-foot tall perimeter fence around buildings that house higher security patients.

The renovation and expansion plan has passed out of committee and now goes to the full council for a public hearing and adoption.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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