Surge in COVID-19 cases spurs petition from Office of Public Defender seeking the release of some inmates

The Office of Public Defender on Wednesday petitioned the state Supreme Court, seeking an order to the lower courts, the Department of Public Safety and the Hawaii Paroling Authority “to take immediate steps to significantly reduce the population of its … correctional facilities to prevent the massive loss of life and harm that the spread of COVID-19 would cause in such facilities.”