Kauai Girls Court Celebrates Success of First Cohort
News Release from Hawaii Judiciary, January 15, 2016
LIHUE, Hawaii – The Kauai Girls Court held its first Celebration event on Thursday, January 14, at Pu`uhonua Kaulike Building (the Kauai Judiciary Complex). Parents, staff, and invited guests came together to recognize the achievements of the first three participants to complete the program, and commemorate the beginning of a new life for these maturing young women.
Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald praised the program’s first alumni for their hard work, and offered his personal thanks to the many people who made the Kauai Girls Court possible, including Kauai Girls Court presiding Judge Trudy Senda, Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Randal Valenciano, the Girls Court team, Child and Family Services, and the many community partners who have supported the program.
Girls Court is the Judiciary’s innovative effort to stem the rising tide of female delinquency in Hawaii, where the proportion of female juvenile arrests has been significantly higher than the national average. Hawaii launched one of the nation‘s first Girls Court models in 2004 on Oahu. It has proven to be a remarkable success. Girls Court participants have committed 88% fewer violations of the law, 98% fewer status offenses, and the number of runaways has decreased by 89%.
Kauai Girls Court presiding Judge Trudy Senda explained, “It is imperative that we, as a community, understand that girls have different needs, learn differently, and should be treated differently than their male counterparts in the criminal justice system. The more intensive support, supervision, and services that the Girls Court is able to provide, is critical to helping these young women prepare for a successful future.”
Girls Court provides gender-specific programs and services that more effectively target at-risk and delinquent girls. Girls Court works on a strength-based model to develop healthy relationships among the girls and their families, return the girls to school or appropriate educational programs, and introduce the participants to employment education and other opportunities in the community.
For more information on the Girls Court program go to the Hawaii State Judiciary website at: http://bit.ly/1ng6ACk