Hawaii re-arrests 47 inmates released earlier because of coronavirus fears

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Their temporary freedom didn’t last long.

Police in Honolulu say they have re-arrested 47 people who had been let out of jail in recent weeks amid fears of a potential coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii’s correctional facilities.

Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto says those sprung from jail under court orders included violent offenders, such as one that allegedly attacked a 74-year-old man with a golf club and another that allegedly went after a victim with a sword, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. Other cases included an inmate convicted of sexually assaulting a victim under 14 years old.

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Police in Honolulu say they have re-arrested 47 inmates who were granted early release because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Honolulu Police Department)

Police in Honolulu say they have re-arrested 47 inmates who were granted early release because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Honolulu Police Department)

“All these people were released due to COVID,” Nadamoto was quoted by the newspaper as telling Hawaii state lawmakers Wednesday. “The motion (to release) said COVID, the order said COVID.”

And despite the coronavirus being a motivating factor in securing their release, there has yet to be a confirmed case of it within Hawaii’s prison system, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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The newspaper, citing a judge, reports that 503 prisoners overall were released in Hawaii by April 28.

It is not immediately clear, however, what convictions or charges the 47 newly arrested ones have or are facing.