October 2, 2013

"The Hawai'i Girls Court is one of the first courts in the United States built on a full range of gender-specific and strength-based programming with a caseload targeting female juvenile offenders."

"Its all-female (Presiding Judge, Probation Officers, Program Coordinator, Therapist, etc.) staff is a uniquely powerful aspect of the program."
Gender-specific programming seeks to recognize the fundamental differences between male and female juvenile offenders as well as their different pathways to delinquency and, in doing so, act efficiently, creatively, and innovatively to stem the quickly rising tide of female delinquency.

It is our intention that empowering and building on our girls’ strengths now will also stop them from becoming involved in the criminal justice system as adult women, appearing as victims in domestic abuse cases and restraining order proceedings, or as mother’s [sic] in child protective services later in their lives.

The Hawai'i Girls Court Program is proud to be a model for gender-responsive programming while also advancing a vision of appropriate and gender-responsive services for all of Hawai'i. The explicit goal of this laboratory court is to promote the empowerment of girls involved in the Hawai'i juvenile justice system as well as to pilot programs that may be of relevance to the wider community of girls in the islands. By catalyzing a change in values, collaborating and building coalitions, the Hawai'i Girls Court is successfully inspiring others to share a gender-responsive vision and commit to youth programs that work with the critical and underserved population of juvenile female offenders. The Hawai'i Girls Court works for Hawai'i’s girls.
That link was sent to me by a former student who notes that it sounds like one of the hypotheticals I use in class when I teach the VMI case. It's not the separateness of the treatment of girls that's the main problem here. It's whether what is done for the boys is equally good.

How "gender-responsive" — to use the much-repeated term — can government be? Can government properly "recognize... fundamental differences" between males and females? Notice that "Girls Court" is presented as a "model" for other programs and the state is claiming to have a "vision" and a "mission."

33 comments:

John Lynch said...

I wonder if the sentences imposed are radically different from what happens to the boys.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Hey, I thought those 'fundamental differences' were mere social constructs, and could be defeated and rearranged by the personal preference of the bearer.

Else, why the 'T' in LGBT?

EDH said...

"It is our intention that empowering and building on our girls’ strengths now will also stop them from becoming involved in the criminal justice system as adult women..."

We should first think long and hard about the impact on the already beleaguered subgenre of Women in Prison movies.

Women in prison film (or WiP) is a subgenre of exploitation film that began in the late 1960s and continues to the present day. Their stories feature imprisoned women who are subjected to sexual and physical abuse, typically by sadistic male or female prison wardens, guards and other inmates. The genre also features many films in which imprisoned women engage in lesbian sex.

traditionalguy said...

Is this War on women or war on men?

It sounds like creation of women only jobs, which is not going to pass muster unless "separate but equal" is sanctioned against the men, but of course not against black men or gay men who are favored.

Ergo:once again the white straight men are targeted by the World of Bureacracy.

DavidD said...

So now justice is different for men and women, blacks and whites, gays and straights, Christians and Atheists and Muslims?

Peter said...

Hmmm. Lady Justice is peeking under that blindfold (or just ripping it off)?

How could this possibly be compliant to Equal Protection?

YoungHegelian said...

Is there anything that chicks won't model after a high-school "mean girls" clique?

Let's see, we've got the head mean girl, the judge, and we've got her sub mean girls, the agents of the court, and they get the other girls together to tell one girl who's being singled out how she's got to change if she wants to fit in. "Sally, the boys would like you better if you weren't such a fat, ugly cow with homicidal tendencies".

Marshal said...

Maybe there's a good argument for separate courts if the issues facing the offenders are that different. But why do they need to be staffed entirely by women? Are we to believe women understand the issues faced by female juveniles better then man? If so why whould we not also conclude men understand the issues facing male juvenile offenders better then women?

It seems to me the only possible underlying presumptions are (1) that only women can understand issues across the gender line, or (2) women's equality of opportunity trumps male offender needs while men's equality of opportunity is secondary to female offender needs.

No doubt there are many people who think this is fine, but they should have to embarass themselves by stating it openly.

whswhs said...

Well, government used to recognize such fundamental differences, back in the nineteenth century.

The Godfather said...

I happened to read yesterday a letter to the editor of The Florida Bar News, in which the letter writer complained about domestic relations law firms that advertise themselves as "men only" firms. Not being a domestic relations lawyer, I can't comment on whether focusing a practice this way makes sense or not, but it did strike me at the time that a "women only" practice would not have generated as strident objections.

I'm also no expert in juvenile court law, but I have known both boys and girls in my life, and it strikes me that, as a group, girls differ enough from boys that developing different approaches for them could make sense. But it also strikes me that boys are more likely than girls to run afoul of the law, and also more likely to grow up into criminals, so I would like to know what Hawaii is doing about a Boys Court.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

"efficiently, creatively, and innovatively" Smells like student essay padding to me. Cite examples if you want to be convincing. Any ass can open a thesaurus.

Ann Althouse said...

There is one fundamental difference: girls can get pregnant and bear children.

That's a factor that might be implicated in juvenile offending as girls relate to boys.

Is the state allowed to take account of the "fundamental difference" that boys are much more likely to commit serious crimes? Any given boy is unlikely to be a criminal.

madAsHell said...

It's a can of worms.

Soon, the Muslims will request a separate sharia court, and point to the girl's court as an example.

Jason said...

Sounds like a lesbian bull-dyke plot to get access to young girls.

Larry J said...

n Lynch said...
I wonder if the sentences imposed are radically different from what happens to the boys.


To ask the question is to know the asnwer.

tim maguire said...

John Lynch's concern was the first thing to pop in my mind.

If you have a girls court staffed and run by women that is constitutional and a boys court that is staffed and run by men that is also constitutional, what do you do with the (extremely likely) outcome that the boys are punished much more severely than the girls for similar crimes?

traditionalguy said...

In the Government Schools the girls are more often violent bullies than the boys. How the schools' policies created that problem, that they now want new high paying career paths set up for solving, is the real question in Bureaucracy Uber Alles Edu. World.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshal said...

Ann Althouse said...
There is one fundamental difference: girls can get pregnant and bear children.


I think there are several others at least [average size, for example]. But none of these fundamental differences control the outcome in any analogous circumstance. For example, does the fact that girls can become pregnant justify barring men from teaching? And if it did, why would it not be important to minimize the risk of female teachers becoming pregnant when exposed to male students or athletes?

If we're going to claim a males preferring males is an illegitimate expression of sexism we have to also say the same of women preferring women.

surfed said...

An aside about the after effects of the VMI case: In 2006 my (at the time) 17 year old Catholic high school daughter was dating a VMI Cadet. She was invited to the Ring Ceremony weekend bacchanalia at VMI where the each class of cadets rented out entire adjacent hotels for the weekend festivities and formal ball. With trepidation, I drove her up from Florida and dropped her off at the hotel in the charge of a group of cadets. If I hadn't done a good job of raising her by this time it was all a moot point anyways. One of the cadets to greet her was the Captain of the Corp an imperious African-American female who immediately took my daughter under her wing. They ruled and schooled the male cadets over that weekend. All my daughter had to do was think a thought and there were four male cadets there to ensure that she and the female Captain of Cadets had their slightest whims immediately full filled. By Gentlemen. What a difference a decade makes...

surfed said...

Addendum: By Gentlemen who wore white gloves whenever off campus.

surfed said...

Further Addendum: By Gentlemen and Gentlewomen who wore white gloves when off campus.

Inga said...

I'm all for there being an All Boys Court, one equally as interested in the welfare and rehabilitation as the girl's. Hawaii seems to be on to something here.

Peter said...

" what do you do with the (extremely likely) outcome that the boys are punished much more severely than the girls for similar crimes?"

Well, you could permit the boys to declare that they're really girls inside (at least for the Duration) and go get judged in the girls court.

But then the mean girls there might really punish them.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think there are several others at least [average size, for example]."

The word "average" there shows why you are wrong. We're talking about individuals in an area where govt actions are subjected to heightened scrutiny and under the SCt's doctrine in the linked case, you can't classify by sex based on things that are true of the group on average. You can't treat women and men differently based on the way the averages are distributed. The outlier males/females are not to be excluded because of their sex.

Ann Althouse said...

And by "you," I mean the govt.

Marshal said...

Ann Althouse said...
The word "average" there shows why you are wrong


My example of another fundamental difference wasn't central to the point that the fundamental difference you noted does not allow sex discrimination in other circumstances.

The mere fact that differences exist doesn't mean disparate treatment is or should be warranted. The fact that those differences do not justify disparate treatment in other circumstances seems strong evidence they should not be in this case, particularly since there is no compelling interest noted that would not also be true in other venues.

Larry J said...

I guess the whole "equal justice under the law" thing didn't work out so they're implementing a separate court system for girls. "Separate but equal" in theory but very unlikely in practice. It'd be interesting to do a study of the sentences girls receive verses those of boys for the same crimes.

Basil said...

Professor, what is disparate impact, if not the use of averages? The hard left wants to replace intentional discrimination law with tribal rights based on statistics. You, as a law professor, should be fighting them with all of your might. Instead you just go along. What a shame.

Clyde said...

What about that little transgender elementary school kid we were talking about here a while back? Would "she" qualify for this court?

Carnifex said...

"Separate but equal", huh? Didn't we already have this discussion? I mean, I'm from the south, and I remember catchin' a whole lotta' shit from Yankees about that.

How 'bout this...we treat everybody as if they are a unique individual. That everyone of us is responsible for our own behavior. And we hold a common core of rights and principles that are to be taught, and adhered to.(you know, like "thou shalt not murder" sorta' thing) Then, when someone fucks up, they can't point to something that happened to their great grandfather and demand special consideration. The consideration is already there, you are considered a responsible person.

Sam L. said...

So I'm guessing that by default there is now a boys only court in HI. Is it "built on a full range of gender-specific and strength-based programming with a caseload targeting male juvenile offenders." And if not, why not, and how long will this outrage persist?

Larvell said...

So, can an XY-chromosomed person self-identify as a woman to get into the program? If he/she does so, which way will the state go? Will it assert that gender is defined by nature, and thus give the finger to the whole LGBT movement (not to mention the "choose your own pronoun" movement)? I'm always intrigued by intra-PC clashes.