Welcome to Hawai`i Girls Court
The Hawai`i Girls Court is one of the first courts in the United States built on a full range of gender-specific and strength-based programming with a caseload targeting female juvenile offenders. Its all-female (Presiding Judge, Probation Officers, Program Coordinator, Therapist, etc.) staff is a uniquely powerful aspect of the program. Gender-specific programming seeks to recognize the fundamental differences between male and female juvenile offenders as well as their different pathways to delinquency and, in doing so, act efficiently, creatively, and innovatively to stem the quickly rising tide of female delinquency.
It is our intention that empowering and building on our girls’ strengths now will also stop them from becoming involved in the criminal justice system as adult women, appearing as victims in domestic abuse cases and restraining order proceedings, or as mother’s in child protective services later in their lives.
The Hawai`i Girls Court Program is proud to be a model for gender-responsive programming while also advancing a vision of appropriate and gender-responsive services for all of Hawai`i. The explicit goal of this laboratory court is to promote the empowerment of girls involved in the Hawai`i juvenile justice system as well as to pilot programs that may be of relevance to the wider community of girls in the islands. By catalyzing a change in values, collaborating and building coalitions, the Hawai`i Girls Court is successfully inspiring others to share a gender-responsive vision and commit to youth programs that work with the critical and underserved population of juvenile female offenders. The Hawai`i Girls Court works for Hawai`i’s girls.