Specialty courts and juvenile justice explored in April 8 program at UH Law School

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Apr 5, 2016

A special afternoon program exploring juvenile justice and specialty courts in Hawai‘i will be held on Friday, April 8, 2016, at the William S. Richardson School of Law at 2515 Dole Street.  It is free and open to the public.

The program, “The Rise and Shine of Specialty Courts: From Combative to Collaborative in the Courtroom," is sponsored by an organization of law students dedicated to advocating for incarcerated youth. The organization, LYTE (Law for Youth Empowerment), has been working for several years to help youthful offenders understand and cope with the juvenile legal system.

Friday’s program runs from 2 to 5 p.m. and will explore and explain the work of the courts within the Family Court system. Senior Family Court Judge R. Mark Browning will open the program with an introduction about the need for specialty courts.

A panel of specialty court judges moderated by Judge Karen Radius will explain how these courts are run. They include Juvenile Drug Court, Girls Court, Truancy Court, Family Drug Court, Zero-Three Court, 18-21 Court and Permanency Court.

The first panel discussion begins at 2:30 p.m. and will be followed at 3:30 p.m. by a second panel discussion involving Public Defenders, Prosecutors, Deputy Attorney Generals, Probation Officers and therapists currently involved in the specialty courts. They will speak about their roles within the system.

At 4:15 p.m. several graduates and participants from the Family Courts will speak about their experiences. This panel will be moderated by EPIC ‘Ohana CEO Laurie Tochiki, a former Associate Dean at Richardson Law School.

According to LYTE chairperson Eileen Nims ’16, who is also an intern at the Hawai‘i Juvenile Drug Court, Hawai‘i Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald has said “specialty courts are the way of the future.”

Said Nims, “It is important for the law community and the public to realize the positive impact therapeutic courts have for the people in Hawai‘i.  Comprehensive teams assist youth to get back on track in school, assist struggling parents with young children to gain the proper parenting skills, and assist at-risk girls to find positive paths for themselves. This is a great possible career choice for lawyers who want to make a difference in their community. It’s time to showcase this in our community.”

A reception with refreshments will follow the program.

For more information, visit: https://www.law.hawaii.edu/