University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Hawaii JI-HI-0002
Docket / Court 1:06-cv-00073-JMS-LEK ( D. Haw. )
State/Territory Hawaii
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On August 16, 2004, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began this investigation of the conditions at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility ("HYCF") in Kailua, Hawaii, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the ... read more >
On August 16, 2004, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began this investigation of the conditions at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility ("HYCF") in Kailua, Hawaii, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the pattern or practice provision of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 ("Section 14141"). Following an extensive investigation, the DOJ issued its findings letter on August 4, 2005 in which it detailed the numerous constitutional deficiencies at the HYCF. The findings letter described the HYCF "as existing in a state of chaos" and lacking any policies or procedures to govern the operation of the facility, which created an environment where abuse of youth often went unreported and uninvestigated. The DOJ also found that youth confined at HYCF were subjected to dangerous suicide risks at the facility. Access to mental health and medical care services and required education services were also lacking.

Following the DOJ investigation and findings, the HYCF and various Hawaii state agency officials agreed to implement a series of DOJ recommended reforms at HYCF in the areas of protection from harm, training, and access to medical and mental health care and special education. The reforms were recorded in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that was executed by the parties. The MOA provided that Russell Van Vleet would serve as the Monitor to oversee the three-year remediation process.

On February 7, 2006, the DOJ filed this lawsuit seeking an order to permanently enjoin the the defendants to provide legal and constitutional conditions of care to the detained youth. The same day, the parties filed a Joint Motion for Conditional Dismissal. In the joint motion, the parties requested that the Court enter the Order and place the case on its inactive docket while retaining jurisdiction over the case pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement until it enters a final order dismissing the case with prejudice. The motion was granted by the District Court (Judge Samuel P. King) on February 9, 2006.

The memorandum of agreement was extended for one year to terminate on February 9, 2010, as a mutually binding agreement. The case is closed but docket does not show that a final order was entered on the case.

Soojin Cha - 05/01/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Personal injury
Sanitation / living conditions
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Defendant(s) Hawaii Departmen of Human Services
Hawaii Department of Education
Hawaii Office of Youth Services
Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2006 - 2010
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Links Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

1:06-cv-00073-JMS-LEK (D. Haw.) 12/11/2008
JI-HI-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Investigation of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, Kailua, Hawaii 08/04/2005
JI-HI-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Complaint 02/07/2006
JI-HI-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States and the State of Hawai’i 02/07/2006
JI-HI-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
One Year Extension of the Memorandum of Agreement 12/11/2008
JI-HI-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kobayashi, Leslie Emi (D. Haw.)
Seabright, John Michael (D. Haw.)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
JI-HI-0002-0002 | JI-HI-0002-0003 | JI-HI-0002-0004
Chirunga , Lashanda Branch (District of Columbia)
JI-HI-0002-0002 | JI-HI-0002-9000
Coon, Laura (District of Columbia)
JI-HI-0002-0004 | JI-HI-0002-9000
Gerhart, Sarah H. (District of Columbia)
JI-HI-0002-0002 | JI-HI-0002-0003 | JI-HI-0002-9000
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
JI-HI-0002-0002 | JI-HI-0002-0003
Kubo, Edward H. (Hawaii)
JI-HI-0002-0002 | JI-HI-0002-0003
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
JI-HI-0002-0002 | JI-HI-0002-0003 | JI-HI-0002-0004
Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)
JI-HI-0002-0001 | JI-HI-0002-0002 | JI-HI-0002-0003
Yee, Harry (Hawaii)
JI-HI-0002-0002 | JI-HI-0002-0003 | JI-HI-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bennett, Mark (Hawaii)
JI-HI-0002-0003 | JI-HI-0002-0004 | JI-HI-0002-9000
Ginoza, Lisa M. (Hawaii)
JI-HI-0002-0004 | JI-HI-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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