Hawai`i Girls Court

Working Towards a Brighter Future

 

 

April 15, 2020

 

Aloha Kākou,

As we continue to provide services to the girls and their families during this COVID-19 pandemic, Girls Court staff is well committed to following Hawai'i State protocols and the safety of our clients and staff through the the month of October 2020 or until further notice announcement.  Girls Court Staff continues to closely monitor CDC reports and are following guidelines from Hawaii State local officials, including: risk factors and symptoms of illness; enhancing our cleaning and hand washing procedures.  In addition to enforcing 6-feet  social distancing whenever possible.  Majority of Girls Court staff are teleworking remotely from home and continue to provide services in various ways including: teleconferencing/Virtual web meeting sites and regular phone calls to closely monitor clients until our next scheduled court hearing. 

Our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by COVID-19, along with our hope that we as a community can come together to take care of each other during this difficult time.  We Thank all of our first responders who continues to ensure our community safety, medical care and that our food and hygiene needs are met.

If you have any questions, please contact any of the Girls Court Staff. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Mahalo,

Girls Court Staff

Website Updated: 10/20/2020

We will continue to update our website with helpful information during this COVID-19 crisis.

PLEASE do your part to
 
PROTECT & RESPECT yourself and others around you and to slow down this COVID-19 pandemic crisis.  WEAR A FACE MASK

Stay HEALTHY and Stay SAFE!
THE Girls Court Crew 2020
 

 
Coronavirus_edited.jpg

COVID-19 UPDATES

Woman Empowerment Art Project Above

Designed By: M.A

For Emergency Food Assistance

Hawai`i Food Bank and its partners are providing emergency food assistance across the state. See below for island specific resources. 
 

  • O`AHU Food Bank Hours and Locations

  • KAUA`I Food Bank Hours and Locations

  • HAWAI`I Island Food Basket Website

  • MAUI Food Bank Website

 
 

Hawai`i Girls Court at a Glance

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 passionate staff, (Presiding Judge, Probation Officers, Program Coordinator, Social Service, Clerk, Therapist, etc.) 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 mothers in child protective services later in their lives.

Our Beginnings

The Family Court of the First Judicial Circuit formed a Girls Court Task Force in 2004 to address the needs of Hawai`i’s at-risk girls and female offenders and ensure that they are adequately considered in policy and programming. The Hawai`i Girls Court began as a volunteer pilot project in September 2004 to serve as both a specialty court as well as a laboratory to design gender-specific policies, programs and services to achieve outcomes that more successfully and effectively target at-risk and delinquent girls. In March 2005, the Hawai`i Office of Youth Services, which is the state agency designated to administer federal funds and state general funds for youth programs in Hawai`i, awarded Girls Court Juvenile Accountability Block Grant funds to hire dedicated staff to continue to develop and enhance our program.

In 2017, the Family Court of the First Judicial Circuit finally established Girls Court as a permanent specialty court program within the Judiciary recognizing the program’s continued value and need.

 

The Hawai`i Girls Court convenes once every 4-5 weeks with our presiding judge. With exception to CSEC related Girls Court proceedings, sessions are held in an open court setting, with the girls, their families, attorneys, probation officers and service providers present. These court sessions serve to provide positive reinforcement of their strengths and accomplishments as well as a method for imposing graduated sanctions and creating accountability for the girls. The open court setting allows for the girls to learn from and share each other’s experiences, successes, and challenges. It provides an innovative and effective base from which positive and permanent behavioral and cognitive changes can be made
In 2017, Girls Court expanded to include a specialized court calendar and supervision services for girls identified as survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). Court proceedings involving CSEC youth are not conducting in an open court setting, rather remains as a closed setting, individualized to the youth’s case.

Hawai'i

Girls Court Judges

~ Girls Court Founding Judge

Judge Karen M. Radius

( September  2004 to  October  2010 )

"Welcome to the Girls Court website. This website is to be for, by, and about our girls and women in Hawai`i and their families. The website will show a brief pictorial history of some of the highlights of the Girls Court program.

I was so privileged to be the Judge for Girls Court which is one of the first courts of its kind in the entire nation. Girls Court seeks to build on the strengths of our girls and address the challenges our girls face. As you can see from this site, it is a goal worth pursuing. I want to thank our girls, their families, the Girls Court staff and the people who work with us for their insight, their commitment and their energy.

Stay tuned! There are lots of good things to come. We trust in the underlying strength and resiliency of our girls and their continued growth.

Once you’ve explored our website and you have further questions, we welcome your contact."

 

~ Former Girls Court  Judge

Judge Jennifer Ching

( October 2010 to June 2019 )

"I was honored to be the Judge for Girls Court Program from October 2010 to June 2019. We provided trauma-informed care to the girls and their families, and seek to create places of healing for them. By guiding the girls to discover what their gifts are, we aim to identify ways to help them feel intelligent, competent, creative, and unique. Every cohort is an incredible year of metamorphosis. The positive changes are a result of the trust and commitment of the girls and their families, the devoted Girls Court team, and the generous, marvelous people we partner with in the community."

 

Behold the beautiful butterflies ~ Our young women!! There is much to celebrate. We are so proud of all of the girls, and we will continue to support them in their journey through life."

Hawai'i Girls Court Presiding Judge

Judge Dyan M. Medeiros

( June 2019  to  Present ) 

Message Coming Soon...

 

Girls Court Mission & Program Values

"Our Mission is to clarify, facilitate and enhance the Family Court of the First Circuit’s commitment to gender-responsive services for young women."

(Nā Hoʻomaʻi ikaika)
Nurturing Strengths

We acknowledge the unique strengths that live within all of us. We work to identify and nurture them in each of our girls. We believe in focusing on and building upon strengths, rather than weaknesses.

(Ke hoʻomaka nei ke manaʻolana)
Instilling Hope

We believe that hope is the spirit that keeps us going. We are committed to transcending the despair too often found, into hope. We instill a sense that what we do really matters and makes a difference.

(ʻO ka Pilina Pili)
Building Relationships

We acknowledge that relationships are central in girl’s lives and that healthy connections are essential to their mental health and well-being.

(Hoʻohui me nā kaiāulu)
Connecting With Community

We provide service opportunities for girls to foster positive community involvement while instilling value on helping others. In turn, the community has an opportunity to receive and view our girls as contributing members of society who are expanding their potential and personal growth.

(Ho'ōla)
Healing

We understand that girl’s pathway into the justice system often begins with victimization which results in experiences and coping methods that profoundly affect her functioning and self-image. We are committed to validating her feelings and helping to heal the hurt.

(Hoʻohui Hoʻokūkū)
Competency Development

We support and provide opportunity and access for girls in developing educational and/or vocational endeavors to empower them to create a sustainable future. We provide activities that introduce girls to various experiences, people, and opinions to assist them in identifying their own beliefs, goals, and potential.

(Ke komo nei i kahi Mana Holistic)
Adopting a Holistic View

We address the whole girl in the context within which she lives and the influences that shape her life. This involves examining her physical, emotional/mental health, educational, and cultural domains.

(Oe kūʻauhau)
Accountability

We believe experiencing meaningful and appropriate sanctions for legal violations and personal misconduct will increase a sense of responsibility and will decrease recidivism. Sanctions are fair, graduated, and individualized. Fairness means individual treatment based on needs, rather than the same treatment for all.

 

ACTIVITIES

At Girls Court we strive to introduce girls to new positive experiences and introduce them to inspirational role models. The girls are provided a variety of experiential activities that allow them to explore education, recreation, meet healthy women in a variety of jobs and roles, focus on their strengths and meet new goals. We believe that positive group activities help to promote team-building and positive personal growth as well as help the girls develop decision making and self-confidence skills.


Girls Court actively connects and partners with resources in the community. Activities and services that the Hawai`i Girls Court shares with the girls and their families provide a powerful context for girls to build relationship skills and maintain healthy relationships.


Some of our many supportive community partners include: (Click on the community partner for information.)

Surfrider Spirit Sessions

YWCA

United Airlines

Ho'ōla Nā Pua

Haleakala – National Park Service

Public Health Nurses (DOH)

Family Group

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” -Lilo & Stich The Girls Court programming requires parent(s) and/or guardian(s) to be parties to the case and legally requires their active participation in the Court. This innovative and holistic approach to juvenile justice, results in more stable families and, ultimately, sustainable progress and improved relationships between the girls and their parents.

In addition to Girls Circle sessions, parent(s) and/or guardian(s), along with the girls, are also required to attend family group sessions for 8 weeks. Family group sessions occur in the evenings, after work hours. The timing is offered to accommodate the work schedules of parent(s) and/or guardian(s), but to also provide the opportunity for all those who live in the home to attend as well. This allows for positive engagement of the family as a whole. A dinner meal is provided to the families, promoting a moment for the families to sit at a table together to enjoy one another’s company while sharing a hot meal. Some topics focused on at these Family Group sessions include areas such as developing parenting skills, conflict resolution skills, healthier family communication and informational sessions on educational and therapeutic services available for the girls and families in the community.

A once a month parent support group is also offered. This is a voluntary group where past and present parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of girls that are or were involved with Girls Court can attend a parent centered group where they can continue to be supported by our Girls Court therapist and other parent peers

EAGALA - Horse Therapy

EAGALA (Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association) Girls participate in a rich rewarding six weeks, one-hour session experience. Each session includes an equine specialist and a health provider who holds the space for the client and horse to interact. Horses respond with a unique insight into exactly who we are in the moment.

Community Outreach

Community Service Learning is a required part of the Girls Court programming. The goal is for the girls, families and girls court staff to actively engage in a community service learning project at least once every quarter. Some of our projects have included feeding the homeless, planting native plants, environmental/beach cleanup, helping to care for a community Lo'i, in addition to hosting a night of holiday bingo at an elderly care home during the holidays to name a few.

(Hoʻohanohano ʻana i ka ʻike wahine)             Honoring female Experience

We acknowledge that gender makes a difference. We structure our program to address the unique needs of girls, and maintain respect for the dignity of each individual we serve. We create an environment where girls receive services while feeling physically and emotionally safe. The services are individualized as one size does not fit all.

(Mālama i nā Kūlana Kūʻai)
Maintaining Ethical Standards

We believe high ethical standards must govern our behavior. This is the foundation of trust between staff, the girls, and the community we serve.

 

"Girls Court is on of the many reasons why I am the person I am today.  Girls Court created a treatment that helped me with my problems that I didn't know how to cope with.  To me Girls Court was created for girls who were in the foster system who needed support in their lives and the women who are in Girls Court are teaching girls how to become productive members of society and become STRONG, INDEPENDENT women who can change there lives."

~ J ~

"Girls Court has benefited me through my journey by allowing me to see my potential.  Being in Girls Court has taught me resilience, respect, and responsibility to better my future.  Before Girls Court I would've never thought I had the potential to achieve the things I have today, such as a job, sobriety and a better sense of self.  Overall, Girls Court has changed me to be a better, brighter version of myself."

~ S ~

"My daughter and her son are doing very well.  She seems to have a much better outlook on life. Her goal to become a nurse and plans to attend college, she is still working on achieving. We spend a lot more family quality time together. Without Girls Court Program, none of this seemed possible for helping my daughter get back on track."

~(C) Parent~

Girls Court Team

Contact Information

Main Line: (808) 534-6150

Fax: (808)534-6161

777 Punchbowl Street

Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813

Kaahumanu Hale Hawaii First Circuit Court

Second Floor

Website designed by Myra F. Taumanupepe in collaboration with Vera Zambonelli, PhD. Hawai'i women in filmmaking.

Copyright © August 2019-2020 Judiciary State of Hawai'i | Family Court of the First Circuit | Hawai`i Girls Court Program | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Photos compiled and contributed by Girls Court Team | Website Updated September 30, 2020 by Myra F. Taumanupepe in collaboration with Valarie Lazo