Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility
The Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF) works closely with the courts and the Office of Youth Services to ensure that any commitment to the HYCF is a “last resort” – after all community-based services have been exhausted. Identification of community-based programs as alternatives to incarceration is ongoing.
To better coordinate the State’s abilities and efforts to provide services, the HYCF continues building partnerships with various public agencies, including the DHS, DOE, DOH, Family Court, county agencies including law enforcement agencies, and non-profit agencies. A multi-disciplinary team, comprised of the DOE, DOH, HYCF, Contract Service Providers, youth and parents, is involved in development of the at-risk youths’ Case/Reentry Plan and reintegration back into their community. HYCF continues to provide an Aftercare/Reentry Program through the Parole Section for youth transitioning out of the HYCF and returning to their families/communities.
Major HYCF administration initiatives include:
- Developing facility policies, procedures and practices that are Juvenile Justice appropriate;
- Providing ongoing training for HYCF direct care staff, social workers, and other personnel on Juvenile Justice/Juvenile Corrections Best Practices.
- Equipping staff with skills and knowledge needed to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment for the youth in the state’s care and custody;
- Strengthening communication between the Judiciary and State Agencies (DOH, DOE, DHS) and OYS/HYCF to ensure the delivery of appropriate services for youth in a seamless and collaborative manner; and
- Enhancing and expanding facility-based programs and services to better prepare youth for reintegration into the community.
HYCF has implemented the YASI or Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument to assess risk, needs and protective factors in youth populations. This tool will provide us with the ability to better tailor programs to address risk and need factors while strengthening the youth’s protective factors.
HYCF continues to seek programs that will address identified risk and needs to better service our youth. The YASI or Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument has been implemented statewide that assesses risk, needs and protective factors in youth populations. New HYCF programs continue to be developed and implemented to expand rehabilitative opportunities available to our youth, including much needed transitional services for youth exiting the facility. These programs assist with population control and help reduce recidivism by better preparing youth for adult life in the community.
To enhance gender specific programming for incarcerated girls, HYCF has partnered with Ho`ola Na Pua who are committed to meeting the unique needs of underage female sex trafficked victims through the utilization of individualized, comprehensive, and restorative therapies. Additionally, Youth Correctional Officers who work with the female population have received and will continue to receive trauma-informed training to enhance their sensitivity and to broaden their skills and knowledge when working with this population.
To remedy deficiencies, and to upgrade the quality of correctional programs and services, the HYCF continues to evaluate Hawaii operations against national standards, such as improved management, and a defense against lawsuits through documentation and the demonstration of a “good faith” effort to improve conditions of confinement. Continued evaluation also increased accountability, enhanced public credibility for administrative and line staff, created a safer and more humane environment for personnel and offenders, and established a measurable criteria for upgrading programs and personnel.
The practice of parole instead of incarceration has improved the success rate of youth transitions back into home communities. Parole also has helped the HYCF maintain an average daily population near maximum capacity.