Another inmate dies in Hawaii prisons

Published On: May 07 2013 11:25:03 PM HST   Updated On: May 08 2013 06:23:03 AM HST

For the third time in a month, a Hawaii prisoner has died behind bars.

Department of Public Safety officials are not the only ones asking questions Tuesday night.  So are concerned community members.

Mark Davis Jr. was found dead in his cell at the Oahu Community Correctional Center just after 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The 25-year-old was alone at the time and not with the general population because of his past criminal history, according to the Department of Public Safety.

As a teenager, Davis was committed to the Hawaii State Hospital, by reason of insanity, for raping and killing a 6-year-old Puna girl.

While at the hospital he also assaulted a staff member -- that last attack landed him in jail.

His death comes just over a week after authorities said Ikaika Andrade committed suicide, while being held at OCCC.

A month ago, Darius Puni-Mau also killed himself, while at the Halawa Correctional Facility.

"I've never seen two prison suicides and an unattended death happen so close together. It is disturbing," said Kat Brady, with Community Alliance on Prisons.

Davis was under maximum custody, according to Public Safety officials, but no one saw what happened at the time of his death.

The department has been under fire recently because of staffing shortages of correctional guards and overcrowding of inmates.

Too few guards meant some services at prisons were reduced.

Some worry deteriorating living conditions for inmates and a lack of needed services could make prisoners worse.

"We're putting people in prison and they are in sub-human conditions. That is not the way to correct behavior," said Brady.

In the past two months, a prisoner also died at the hands of other inmate.

In March, authorities said Joseph Tui Junior beat 76-year-old Cyrl Chung to death inside their cell at OCCC.

These recent events raise concern that a prison sentence turned into a death sentence for some Hawaii inmates.

"The whole thing is heartbreaking for those who want to see real justice happen and real reform happen," added Brady.

The medical examiner is expected to determine Davis' cause of death on Wednesday.


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