Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Policy Reform │Hawaii


In August 2013, Hawaii launched the Juvenile Justice Reform Project. The project’s goal was to increase public safety and juvenile offender accountability while also reducing juvenile justice costs. A working group was tasked with analyzing the juvenile justice system and developing policy recommendations for the Legislature. In December 2013, the group issued a final report and many of the recommendations were adopted by the Legislature in early 2014. The new law is expected to save Hawaii $11 million by 2019.

HB 2490 (2014)

Requires use of risk and needs assessments prior to disposition. Allows substance abuse and mental health treatment in lieu of delinquency proceedings. Limits residential placement of low-level juvenile offenders. Requires a probation case plan be developed in consultation with the juvenile and the juvenile’s parent, legal guardian, or custodian. Creates “earned probation discharge credits” and requires development of graduated sanctions. Requires the development of reentry plans for certain juveniles committed to the youth correctional facility. Specifies factors to be considered when granting parole. Requires probation officer training on supervision best practices. Establishes the Juvenile Justice Oversight Advisory Council to oversee implementation. Appropriates $1.26 million for FY2014-15 for carrying out the purposes of this act.

HB 1471 (2015)

Appropriates funds for FY2015-17 for the juvenile justice reform initiative (enacted by 2014 HB 2490). Prohibits a portion of the youth correctional facility appropriation from lapsing and instead diverts those funds to the office of youth services.

Summaries and links to full legislation can also be found in NCSL’s Juvenile Justice Bill Tracking Database.

Additional Resources

Return to NCSL’s Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Policy Reform page or learn more about NCSL’s Juvenile Justice Program.