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Hawaii's Act 201: Comprehensive Reform Implementation Successes

NCJ Number
Date Published
1 page
This report summarizes the provisions of Hawaii's juvenile justice reform legislation (Act 201), the technical assistance provided to implement these provisions, and outcomes from the legislation's implementation.
Act 201 intends to reduce court referrals of youth, improve probation for justice-involved youth, and target community-based programs. In reducing court referrals for youth, Act 201 codifies diversion and informal adjustment policies for youth, particularly those who commit status offenses. Probation is improved by developing the Behavioral Intervention and Support System and a graduated response system for probation. The legislation also prohibits youth adjudicated on misdemeanor offenses from being placed in a custodial facility. Community-based programming is targeted by the adoption of a statewide risk and needs assessment for all adjudicated youth and the collection and reporting of data on performance measures so as to monitor outcomes. Technical assistance for the implementation of Act 201 policies has included the training of all juvenile justice personnel in the principles of effective intervention and the training of probation officers in effective case management and in graduated responses and earned discharge. Other technical assistance involved the development of the informed guide to risk assessment and a process for collecting and reporting outcome measures. Outcomes from the implementation of the legislative reforms were a significant decline in court referrals, a 62-percent decline in youth confinement, a 50-percent decline in youth probation, and a 30-percent decline in juvenile court filings. There was a $1.26 million upfront investment in new community-based interventions and the adoption of an effective risk-assessment tool for matching youth to appropriate programs.

Date Published: January 1, 2017