- Associated Press - Sunday, May 10, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - The unauthorized departure over the weekend of a 22-year-old man from a low-security Hawaii corrections facility has pushed the number of such escapes to more than 20 this year.

Lyndal Gilliland was at a head count at 6 p.m. Friday at the Hale Nani reintegration center on Hawaii Island. Gilliland did not show up for a 10 p.m. head count, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said. The facility at Panaewa is one of two that make up the Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

Gilliland was due to be released in December, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://bit.ly/1zQoVuV) reported. He was serving time for two drug offenses and could face escape charges.

The reintegration center houses inmates making the transition from prison to life in the community. The center resembles a dormitory with two wings of bunk beds and a central area with a security desk. There’s no fence around the building.

Gilliland is the second person to depart from Hale Nani this year. Railee Santos was captured after two months.

The number of inmates leaving low-security facilities led to state legislators scheduling a May 19 briefing about work furlough. Sen. Will Espero, D-Ewa Beach, expressed concern after two inmates last month were arrested when they were supposed to be looking for jobs. They are charged with robbery and kidnapping.

The furlough program is among the Department of Public Safety’s more successful programs, Espero said, and it helps reduce recidivism.

The number of walkouts has gone up over several years as the furlough program has expanded, Schwartz said. The percentage of absent inmates remains less than 1 percent, she said. The department began reporting them to the media last year, she said, to get the public’s help in apprehending escapees.

“The way the program works is they have to be allowed some sort of freedom to go out and work,” she said. “They’re learning how to be self-sufficient.”

Inmates often fail to return because of poor impulse control and personal issues, Schwartz said.

Seven furlough inmates remain at large, she said.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com


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