H.R. NO.



H.D. 1





requesting the department of public safety and the office of youth services to DEVELOP a plan for creating and implementing gender responsive environments at the women's community correctional center and at the hawaii youth correctional facility.



WHEREAS, Hawaii's rising adult female offender population is currently comprised of over 12 percent of incarcerated offenders, which is more than twice the national average; and

WHEREAS, there are currently 14 minor females incarcerated at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF), which is almost 22 percent of the incarcerated youth population; and

WHEREAS, instruments and protocols for adult incarcerated offenders are primarily focused on medium-security violent males; and

WHEREAS, research has shown that the majority of female offenders are nonviolent and could be more appropriately served in community programs; and

WHEREAS, better assessment tools are needed because the tools used for males do not recognize the lower levels of violence of females, incorrectly placing female offenders in higher than necessary levels of security; and

WHEREAS, convictions of female offenders may make them ineligible for benefits such as Section 8 or Medicaid; and

WHEREAS, federal law prevents felons convicted of drug offenses to access funding to work toward a college education; and

WHEREAS, according to Department of Public Safety (DPS) statistics for the year 2000, 60 percent of the incarcerated females have at least one child; and

WHEREAS, since the average sentence served by females is 26 months, many females are losing their children because of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which mandates that children be permanently placed within 15 to 22 months; and

WHEREAS, research has shown that girls whose mothers are in prison have a higher likelihood of following in their mother's footsteps; and

WHEREAS, there is no adequate coordination that links substance abuse, criminal justice, public health, housing, and employment services; and

WHEREAS, women and girls need comprehensive reentry services and community wrap-around services with case management services; and

WHEREAS, women's and girls' pathways to crime are different than men's and boys' pathways; and

WHEREAS, incarcerating women and girls in an environment designed primarily for men and boys without appropriate programming to address their needs has resulted in recidivism caused primarily by parole violations and minor offenses; and

WHEREAS, while contending that gender responsive programs are already in place, DPS acknowledges that study and evaluation may be warranted to:

(1) Address issues of adequate access to maintenance of these existing programs; and

(2) Examine suggestions for new programs, which may be limited due to staffing and resource restrictions;

now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, that DPS and the Office of Youth Services are requested to develop and submit to the Legislature no later than 20 days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2005, a plan for creating a gender responsive environment at the Women's Community Correctional Center and at HYCF; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that policies, practices, and programs address substance abuse, trauma, and mental health and be culturally relevant; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these agencies are requested to submit a brief descriptive outline of the plan for gender responsive programming at each facility, including but not limited to:

(1) Substance abuse treatment;

(2) Parenting;

(3) Anger management;

(4) Educational opportunities;

(5) Marketable job skill development;

(6) Job training; and

(7) An ongoing training program for staff to foster a gender-sensitive environment for women and girls;


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the gender responsive programming plan include a timeline for implementation of these programs, as well as how access and eligibility is determined, the criteria for graduating and advancing to the next level, and the maximum number of women and girls who can participate in each program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the training program for staff and correctional officers be articulated to include new hires as well as ongoing training for existing staff and to include the latest research in gender responsiveness; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Director of Public Safety, and Executive Director of the Office of Youth Services.

Report Title:

Gender Responsive Programs