There is a big hole in the system with respect to juveniles, as once they enter, they don't necessarily exit, says retired Superior Court Judge of Santa Clara, California, Eugene Hyman. He adds that there is an infinite amount of money when it comes to building facilities but not rehabilitation.
Hyman believes that young men and women have different needs when it comes to rehabilitation and the system as a whole, whether it's adult or juvenile, is oriented more towards males in terms of rehabilitation. Young women have different experiences with respect to trauma, he notes, such as more sexual assaults and more exposure to violence and "the intervention needs to reflect those problems."
It is important to deal with the genders differently but Hyman says services that are provided need to be constitutionally equal, meaning it would be inappropriate to have more services for women than men because that would be discriminatory. That being said, it doesn't mean it can't be gender-specific with regards to the intervention, notes Hyman.
Early intervention is key, says Hyman, and a lot of states, like California, are getting away from incarceration with respect to truancy. The problem, he adds, is more in terms of dealing with the families and holding the parents accountable and that there needs to be more counseling services to get to the root of the problem.
Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.