The Hawaii Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council

 “To advise government and local communities to ensure effective service provision and development of policies that improve the juvenile justice system, advocate for delinquency prevention and guide Hawaii’s youth in becoming productive community members.” 

-JJSAC Mission Statement

With Hawaii’s Governor-appointed Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council (JJSAC), funding support and technical assistance and training to address and strengthen Hawaii’s juvenile justice system are made available through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. These are authorized by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 2002. The JJDP Act is the only federal statute that protects youth physical and/or psychological harm in the juvenile justice system by requiring states/territories to comply with the following core requirements.

  • Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders
  • Sight and Sound Separation of juvenile offenders from adult criminal offenders
  • Removal of juvenile offenders from Adult Jails and/or Lockups
  • Reduce or eliminate the disproportionate contact of minority youth in all decision points of the juvenile justice system (arrest through confinement).

Failure to comply with the core requirements above may result in the reduction, suspension, or termination of funds and could lead to legal ramifications.

The Department of Human Services, Office of Youth Services (OYS) is the Designated State Agency (DSA) responsible for the planning and administration of grant awards from OJJDP. The OYS in its efforts to address and strengthen its mandates to address Hawaii’s juvenile justice issues blends state and federal funding streams to rehabilitate and supervise youth offenders and to coordinate and implement a continuum of services for at risk and court-involved youth in the juvenile justice system.

Hawaii Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Programs.  Current programs are funded with Title II Formula Grants Program, Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) Program, and Title V Community Prevention Program as briefly described in the following.   Note: Title V Community Prevention Program has been eliminated since Fiscal Year 2012 and yet to be restored; Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program (JABG) was eliminated Fiscal Year 2014. Efforts to advocate for the restoration of these grant programs are being made through the National Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) and its members and affiliates.

The Formula Grants Program enable states/territories to meet and maintain compliance with the four core requirements of the JJDPA Act regarding the arrest of juveniles and the over-representation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system. In addition, the Formula Grant provides funding support for delinquency prevention and improvement of the juvenile justice system. Hawaii has since been in compliance with the four core requirements as follows.

  • Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO);
  • Separation of juveniles from adult criminal inmates (Sight and Sound Separation);
  • Removal of juveniles from adult Jails and/or Lockups (Jail/Lockup Removal);
  • Address to reduce, if not eliminate, the over-representation of minority youth at all decision-points in the juvenile justice system. This core requirement is referred to as “Disproportionate Minority Contact” or DMC. According to a study commissioned by JJSAC and OYS in 2012, Native Hawaiian youth are highly over-represented in the juvenile justice system especially at the point of arrest. A DMC study in 1995 showed similar findings and recommendations.  The 2012 DMC FINAL REPORT  is posted below in the Special Reports section.

Formula grant activities are as follows:

  • Reporting Center program operated by C.A.R.E. Hawaii, a non-profit organization to serve court-involved youth on probation is a subcontractor of the Judiciary’s Family Court, 1st Circuit. This program was developed as a result of the Judiciary’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The objectives are to reduce the unnecessary use of secure detention and re-arrest rates by 40%. CARE Hawaii serves 6 youth on probation each month.
  • Kupuna Program is operated by ALU LIKE, Inc., a non-profit community-based organization serves youth confined at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF). Male and female offenders participate in cultural activities such as hula, mele, arts and crafts, talk story or performances by Hawaii’s elders or celebrities, etc. As of date, a total of 176 confined youth served.
  • Youth-on-Probation Program is operated by Hale Kipa, Inc. in Kauai to assist court-involved youth successfully comply and complete their terms and conditions as sanctioned by the Family Court, 5th Circuit. A minimum caseload of 15 must be maintained on a daily basis. As of date, a total of 110 youth are being provided with services and another 20 youth are on a list waiting to be afforded the opportunity to participate. Plans are being considered to support the increase in youth on probation eligible.
  • Big Island Assessment Center is operated by Salvation Army, a non-profit organization to divert youth from having contact with the court. Police are able to bring youth to a 24-hour single point of intake and assessment center for status offenders and certain minor law violators. Based on the assessment, youth with their families receive appropriate services or referred to case management organizations. As of date, a total of 64 are being provided with services.
  • Ho’opono Mamo is a diversion system that allows youth in contact with police to participate in a new process that involves an Assessment Center, healing and forgiveness residential program, and community conferencing. A major significance of the diversion system is that status offenders will no longer have an arrest record and will be treated as such. Certain minor law offenders will also be eligible. The contract to implement the Ho’opono Mamo is in progress with the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Community Services, effective May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2016. The targeted location is in Police District 5, Kalihi to Moanalua area.


The Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) Program assist states/territories develop and implement programs that:

  • Hold youth accountable for delinquent behavior through the imposition of graduated sanctions that are consistent with the severity of the offense.
  • Strengthen the juvenile justice systems’ capacity to process cases efficiently and work with community partners to keep youth from re-offending.

JABG activities are as follows:

  • County of Hawaii, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney

The county sub-contracted Hale Kipa, Inc., a non-profit community-based organization to implement a family management program for youth on probation. Program Coordinators with Hale Kipa are responsible for developing a team of community-based youth mentors capable of connecting and establishing strong relationship with youth and families and trained to provide a positive influence. Working as a team with probation officers and assigned youth monitor, a broad range of support services are coordinated and afforded to all participating youth and families. A total of 98 youth has been served as of date.

  • County of Maui, Police Department

The Maui Police Department offers a diversionary program that allows a youth arrested to participate in P.O.I. (Positive Outreach Intervention) Project. The project addresses the lag time between arrest and the youth’s initial court hearing that could take up to 3 – 6 months. During the youth’s participation, they must remain arrest free. A total of 107 youth has been served as of date.

  • City and County of Honolulu, Department of Community Services

Department of Community Services established the Juvenile Justice Center to divert first-time youth offenders referred by Honolulu Police Department and status offenders referred by the Family Court, 1st Circuit. The youth are held accountable for their action commensurate with the severity of their offense by making them aware and answerable for the loss, damage, or injury caused upon the victim and/or community. Services include counseling, life skills training, cultural activities, and other related activities. A total of 932 youth has been served as of date.

  • County of Kauai, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney

The county subcontracted with Hale Opio, Inc. to operate a Teen Court Program for youth offenders. Youth offenders who volunteer participate in a court of their peers rather than the traditional court system. A volunteer judge oversees the hearings and consequences include letters of apology, community service, and other character building skills development. A total of 49 youth has been served as of date.


The Title V Community Prevention Program is an incentive grant to support local communities in identifying risk and protective factors in order to effectively reduce delinquency and youth violence. Funding for the program has been eliminated since Fiscal Year 2012.

Title V Community Prevention Program activity is as follow:

  • The County of Kauai, Office of the Mayor subcontracted Hale Kipa, Inc., a non-profit community-based organization to provide services to youth suspended from school over a period of 30 to 90 days. Services include tutoring, mentoring support, anger management, alcohol and substance abuse prevention and other related needs or issues of both the youth served and their families. A total of 80 youth has been served as of date.
Funding allocations


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has two primary responsibilities: to address the needs of youth who have come into contact with the juvenile justice system or are at risk of doing so and to protect children who are victims of abuse, violence, and crime. These purposes are closely connected. In fact, years of research demonstrate that many of the youth who enter the juvenile justice system have previously been exposed to violence.

In FY 2013, the Office provided funding to states to promote safe conditions for youth in confinement and reduce racial disparities through its Formula Grants program. In addition, OJJDP partnered with federal, state, local, and nonprofit providers to promote youth mentoring; protect young people from violence, abduction, and sexual exploitation; enhance family engagement in the juvenile justice system; and service youth in Indian country.

As OJJDP works to promote youth justice and safety, we never lose sight of the young victims, at-risk juveniles, and justice-involved youth who so desperately need assistance. After all, advocating for our country’s most vulnerable children is not just a worthy cause-it is our mission.

In fiscal year (FY) 2013, OJJDP awarded nearly $537,689.00 million in grants to help at-risk youth, protect children, and improve juvenile justice systems statewide. In addition to financial support, the Office also provided a wide array of resources to stakeholders.

The OJJDP and its responsibilities were created through the OJJDP Act.


Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as Amended Summary

The JJDPA provides for:

  • A nationwide juvenile justice planning and advisory system spanning all states, territories and the District of Columbia.
  • Federal funding for delinquency prevention and improvements in state and local juvenile justice programs and Practices; and
  • Operation of a federal agency, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention dedicated to training, technical assistance, model programs, and research and evaluation, to support state and local efforts.
  • Click here to link to JJDPA.

JJDPA Statement of Principles:

  • Keep children and youth out of the justice system: Whenever possible, keep children and youth out of the juvenile and criminal justice systems by addressing their needs and those of their families early and effectively.
  • Ensure equity and competence: Do everything possible to ensure equity and competence with regard to race, ethnicity, culture, language, gender and sexual orientation, in legal representation before the courts and throughout all system practices and policies.
  • Ensure responses appropriate to a young person’s age and stage of development: Do everything possible to ensure that children and youth in the justice system are treated in an age-appropriate manner and provided with developmentally appropriate, Evidenced-based services and supports. Ensure, when needed, that sanctions are appropriate to a youth’s age and offense.
  • Strengthen the federal partnership with state and local governments: Strengthen the federal role in supporting state and local needs by providing sufficient resources and appropriations for jurisdictions to effectively implement the JJDPA, to fully comply with its core requirements/protections and to ensure state and local adherence to high standards or performance.


Hawaii 2012 Compliance Update

The Act established four core requirements to ensure appropriate services, proper treatment and safe confinement of juveniles involved in the juvenile justice system, and to address the juveniles’ rights to due process. Brief descriptions of the core requirements and OJJDP’s most recent review as reported in the 2012 Hawaii Compliance Monitoring Report are as follows:

Core Requirements of the JJDP Act Compliance Status
 Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO)Juveniles charged with status offenses, offenses which would not be a crime if committed by an adult, shall not be placed in secure detention or correctional facilities. Status offenses include but are not limited to truancy, running away, and minors in possession of alcohol.  The State is in full compliance with the DSO requirement.
 Jail and Lockup Removal (Jail Removal, JLR)No juvenile shall be securely held in adult jails or lockups. Under the Reporting Exception, accused law violators may be held for up to six hours for the purpose of identification, processing, interrogation, transfer to a juvenile facility, or while awaiting release to parents/guardians. The State is in full compliance with the JLR requirement.
 Sight and Sound Separation (SSS)During the temporary period that a juvenile may be securely held in an adult jail and lockup, sight and sound contact is prohibited between the juvenile and adult inmates or trustees.  The State is in full compliance with the SSS requirement.
 Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC)States must address reducing the proportion of juveniles detained or confined in secure detention facilities, secure correctional facilities, and jails and lockups, who are members of ethnic groups of such proportion which exceeds the proportion represented in the general population. Based on the DMC plan submitted to the U.S. OJJDP from the OYS, Hawaii is currently in compliance.


 Hawaii Compliance Violations in 2012

Number of Violations Rate of Violations*
Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders                                0                                  0.00
Sight & Sound Separation 0 n/a
Jail and Lock-up Removal 2 0.66

*Rate is derived from the number of violations per 100,000 youths under the age of 18.

Since 1996, significant improvements have been achieved in meeting the federal mandates for deinstitutionalizing status offenders and jail removal. The following data compares the rates of violations from 2008-2012:

Comparison of Rate of Violations from 2008-2012

Compliance Violations from           2008 to 2012 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders 4 3 0 0 0
Jail and Lockup Removal 4 4 3 1 2

 Comparison of Rate of Violations from 2008 to 2012

Core Requirements 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders 1.33 1.05 0.00 0.00 0.00
Jail and Lockup Removal 1.33* 1.40* 1.05 0.33 0.66

*2008 and 2009 Jail and Lockup Removal rates are due to census adjustments.


Rate of Violations

rate of violations

 Disaggregating Minor in Possession Data from Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders and/or Jail Removal Violations

Based on new guidance from the OJJDP, states are no longer required to monitor juveniles accused of/adjudicated for minor in possession (MIP) of alcohol offenses as status offenders for the purposes of JJDPA compliance. The OJJDP now considers youth charged with MIP of alcohol offenses to be accused delinquent offenders. This means that the states (1) may hold these youth securely in adult jails and lockups for up to 6 hours, provided that they are separated from adult inmates; (2) Facilities that have been given approval from the OJJDP to use the “Rural Exception” for individual jails and lockups may hold these youth in accordance with the Rural Exception requirements; and (3) states may hold youth charged with/adjudicated for MIP of alcohol offenses indefinitely in secured detention and correctional juvenile facilities.

To ensure that 2013 Formula Grant compliance determinations are made, all states must have disaggregated MIP of alcohol offenses from other violation data and report and submit the information to the OJJDP. States have been encouraged to continue to collect and report violations based on MIP of alcohol offenses.

 Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council Recommendations to the
State of Hawaii Governor and Legislature

The JJSAC proposes the following recommendations to the Governor of the State of Hawaii and the Legislature for consideration in the enactment of policies, programs and services to ensure continued support of Hawaii’s youth and their families’ juvenile justice and delinquency prevention needs. In essence, we should:

  • Keep children and youth out of the juvenile justice system;
  • Ensure equitable and competent treatment for all justice-involved youth;
  • Ensure response appropriate to a young person’s age and stage of development; and
  • Strengthen the state and county government, non-government organizations, and communities to prevent and/or reduce the number of youth entering the juvenile justice system.
  • Continuum of Care – support a wide selection of prevention and intervention strategies for youth offenders and families in collaboration with providers of educational, medical, mental & behavioral health, after school, workforce development services, and others, utilizing appropriate and applicable cultural-based practices. Also explore the need for co-curricular activities from athletics to music, art, or community service.
  • Alternatives to Locked Facilities – to develop and sustain community- and family-based alternatives to detention and correctional facilities, both pre- and post-adjudication.
  • Effective Re-entry and Re-connection – to help young people leave the system, return home and stay home. Provide effective reconnection to schools, families, community-based family support and/or counseling, jobs, and housing, upon release from locked facilities.
  • Reduce Over-representation of Minority Youth in the Juvenile Justice System – given the over-representation of Hawaiian youth in the juvenile justice system, specifically at the point of arrest, it is imperative to re-direct or reinvest state funds to implement system-changed designed to reduce the high incidence of these youth entering the system.
  • Ensure Safety – for all populations of youth, especially those who are most at risk of harm such as girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, and those with serious mental & behavioral health concerns, must be safe when in the care or custody of the juvenile justice system.


Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council Agendas and Minutes

Special Reports and Documents

Hawaii 2016 JJSAC Membership

Office of Youth Services Contact Information