Thrive, not just survive: Hope meets opportunity at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hawai`i

Hope meets opportunity in every one of the more than 4,000-plus Boys and Girls Clubs in the United States serving more than 4 million youth, ages 7 to 17. The Boys and Girls Club of Hawai`i serves over 10,000 youth in eight clubs on two islands (O`ahu and Kaua`i) daily. These kids want to thrive, […]

State of Hawaii Unveils Plan To Reduce Prison, Jail Populations

About time! Good data, best practices meet with need to spend wisely. Proposed changes to Hawaii’s criminal justice system that would speed the release of numerous accused and convicted criminals from jails and prisons were outlined today at the state Capitol. “There’s no question we have to be tough on crime but at the same […]

Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews: From a Culture of Blame to a Culture of Safety

By Neil Websdale, Ph.D., Judge Michael Town and Byron Johnson, Ph.D. Spring, 1999 |  Juvenile and Family Court Journal (p.61-74) Introduction As courts and communities try to confront domestic violence, the question of what to do about domestic violence fatalities continually resurfaces.  Normally, these fatalities are handled by the criminal justice system, which investigates the […]

Judge Town’s Mentoree Wins Scholarship

One of the youths from Camp Agape, Kawailani, just entered Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, as a freshman with a $40k annual scholarship. She will be one of the first in her family to attend college.  These “first gen” kids are on fire with learning. That is its own reward.  Kawai earned this honor […]

Modern Pilgrims Follow Ancient Path

An arduous journey on foot by father and son imparts a sense of grace in northern Spain By Mike Town / Special to the Star-Advertiser NORTHERN SPAIN » How about walking a pilgrim trail more than 1,000 years old across northern Spain with your son? Fun? Hard work? Inspirational? Memory maker? Yes to all. Having retired […]

Coaches, Judges Have Much in Common

As a trial judge since 1979, it has been my privilege to preside over many cases involving adults and youth who made serious mistakes, were charged with criminal offenses and needed to improve their lives. At key points, judges must listen carefully to a variety of people about the choices a defendant made and try […]

Judge as Coach: Positive Coaching in the Courtroom

As a trial judge since 1979, I have presided over many cases involving adults and youths who made serious mistakes, were charged with criminal offenses, and needed to improve their lives. At key moments in these cases, including detention, sentencing, and review hearings, the judge must listen carefully to testimony about—and try to understand—the choices […]

Judge’s message aimed at keeping kids off drugs, out of court

By Lee Cataluna Honolulu Advertiser Columnist Judge Michael Town’s 10 suggestions for parents: Know your child’s friends. Encourage your child to bring friends to your home. These friends will often be involved with you and your child for the rest of your lives. Visit your child’s school. Let your child know that you are […]

Is compassion fatigue an issue for judges?

“How do you deal with it?” “Isn’t it depressing?” “Doesn’t’s it eventually get to you?” Judges are asked these questions regularly. Folks know that most judges hear a variety of cases which are often emotional, sad, and at times, profoundly tragic. At the beginning of my judicial career, my response to such questions was that […]

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