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Hawaii agrees to
improve care of incarcerated gay youth

Hawaii agrees to
improve care of incarcerated gay youth

Hawaii and the federal government agree on changes in treatment of gay youth in state's juvenile correctional facility.

After four months of negotiations, the state of Hawaii reached an agreement with the federal government last week on changes to how gay youth are treated in the state's juvenile correctional facility, The New York Times reports. But although the settlement creates dozens of new provisions for the state to follow, such as developing suicide prevention and intervention policies and protecting the young inmates from physical and sexual abuse, it doesn't go far enough, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. "We're asking that they are not allowed to discriminate, harass, or abuse wards, based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex," Lois Perrin, the ACLU of Hawaii's legal director said in Honolulu. Her organization sued the state in September on behalf of three teenage inmates perceived to be either gay or transgender. The lawsuit, which is still pending, claims the plaintiffs were abused both physically and verbally by prison guards and other wards on the basis of that perception. Although a Justice Department report last year described the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in Kailua as "existing in a state of chaos," the settlement does not include any admission of wrongdoing or constitutional violations by the state. (Advocate.com)

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