On August 14, 2019, the American Judicature Society held its inaugural lunchtime educational session at the Hawaii State Bar Association conference room for its members. The topic discussed was the Judiciary’s Community Outreach Court. The presenters at this session were the presiding judge of the Community Outreach Court, the Honorable Darolyn Lendio, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mark Tom and Deputy Public Defender Antoinette Lilley. Lunch was provided by AJS.
It was a very informative meeting attended by approximately 20 AJS members. Judge Lendio, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Lilley spoke about the mission of the court and the procedures which have been established to assist homeless individuals in resolving outstanding infractions and bench warrants thereby allowing them to receive needed social services such as counseling, public assistance and access to housing programs. The session illustrated the challenges faced by those who are living on the streets and how some of the things most of us take for granted such as basic phone communication and transportation can be major obstacles for them. This discussion emphasized the district court’s role in the state’s Judiciary as the “people’s court.”
Special thanks to Jack Tonaki, Co-Chair of AJS’s Criminal Justice Standing Committee, for bringing the program together, selecting and coordinating the program with the speakers, and doing the myriad things that needed to be done to put on the Program.