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Prison running out of room

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Department of Corrections is running out of room to house detainees and inmates.  Because of the crowded quarters at the Hagatna Detention Facility, the department stopped accepting new arrestees from GPD for several hours this morning.

DepCor spokesperson Lt. Antone Aguon said, "What actually happened is because we've had quite a few arrests this past weekend the Agana facility was overcrowded, so we have a policy not to bunk three to a cell to prevent any kind of inhumane treatment or anything like that."

DepCor confined more than two dozen individuals this weekend alone. "What the officers did was ask GPD if they could stand by on the new arrestees until they're able to get some out of the Agana facility and transfer them to Mangilao.This morning when the warden came in that's the first thing he did he coordinated a transfer of the 16 of the detainees from Hagatna and transferred them here to Mangilao," he said.

"It happens every now and then."

Lt. Aguon says this leaves the department constantly transferring detainees.  He says the Agana Lockup currently has 113 inmates and detainees - that's about seven away from reaching its threshold. What makes matters worse, is the situation isn't much better at the Mangilao compound. "Mostly every building that we have up here with the exception of maybe one or two of the domes up there we are using them everything is being use and everything is just about up to the max capacity right now," he said.

Chief of Police Fred Bordallo says he is working with DepCor to get past the problem at hand. "It's a challenge...it's also a matter sometimes of coordinating with the Attorney General's Office about a situation when there might be some overcrowding at lockup," he said.

It's a constant struggle but Aguon says the department is doing the best it can especially since losing nearly an entire platoon of staff to retirement. "We're still open for business and we're still accepting arrestees, but every now and then we just asked to be patient until we make sure there's room," he said.

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