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2013-10-07T00:00:00.000Z

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Employment History

Juvenile Court Commissioner
Yakima County

Commissioner
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Web References (29 Total References)


Yakima County Court Commissioner ...

www.yakimaherald.com [cached]

Yakima County Court Commissioner Robert Inouye applauds as a defendant in the county's mental health court comments on being sober for a week or more following a stay in jail.

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Inouye commended the man, who had been jailed for a week, for recently meeting with his mental health team and resuming his medication.
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Each Tuesday morning, Inouye presides over mental health court. He decided to give the man in his 30s another chance and arranged for him to get care in an inpatient facility.
"Our goal isn't to throw them out," Inouye said after the hearing.


Robert Inouye, Yakima ...

www.yakimaherald.com [cached]

Robert Inouye, Yakima County's juvenile court commissioner, welcomes the option of sending certain children to Two Rivers. There are plans to hold involuntary treatment hearings at the facility -- away from the detention facility on Jerome Avenue -- which he said will minimize disruption to children and their families.

"You're dealing with a fragile population and you don't want to start any more problems than you need," Inouye said.


"Less law enforcement time, less jail ...

www.kimatv.com [cached]

"Less law enforcement time, less jail resources, fewer commitments to mental health institutions," said Yakima County Superior Court Commissioners Honorable Robert Inouye.

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"I've enjoyed the process," Commissioner Inouye said. "It's not a traditional kind of judicial job."
Nor is it the traditional kind of treatment for a person accused of a crime. If the defendants don't meet the guidelines set by the mental health court, they face anything from a talk with a judge, to community service or jail time. Anyone expelled from the program will go back to sentencing.
Commissioner Inouye says it took trial and error to find the right type of defendants who could be successful.
"They improve their skills [and] they improve their stability," he said. "That is very rewarding."
He hopes the program will get more money to expand and offer services to those accused of less serious crimes.


Yakima County Court Commissioner ...

www.yakimaherald.com [cached]

Yakima County Court Commissioner Robert Inouye applauds as a defendant in the county's mental health court comment on being sober for a week or more following a stay in jail.

...
Inouye commended the man, who had been jailed for a week, for recently meeting with his mental health team and resuming his medication.
...
Each Tuesday morning, Inouye presides over mental health court. He decided to give the man in his 30s another chance and arranged for him to get care in an inpatient facility.
"Our goal isn't to throw them out," Inouye said after the hearing.


Yakima County Juvenile Court Commissioner ...

www.yakima-herald.com [cached]

Yakima County Juvenile Court Commissioner Robert Inouye dons his robe as prepares to preside over another day of juvenile court.

GORDON KING/Yakima Herald-RepublicYakima County Juvenile Court Commissioner Robert Inouye works in his chambers before presiding over court one day in January.Inouye says he's exhausts all alternatives before sentencing chronic runaways to serve time in the county's juvenile detention center.
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Maria Ochoa was a 15-year-old chronic runaway in foster care when Robert Inouye, Yakima County's juvenile court commissioner, took the unusual step of sentencing her to jail for a total of three months.
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Inouye gave her 30 days in the juvenile-only detention center on Jerome Avenue, where runaways are in cells adjacent to juveniles with serious criminal records.
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Back before Inouye, she found herself with a 60-day sentence and the threat that he might lock her up until she turned 18.
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They argued that Inouye exceeded his authority and failed to pursue less restrictive alternatives, such as ordering social workers to provide more mental health services.
The public defenders lost at the state Court of Appeals.They appealed to the state Supreme Court in Olympia, where they were joined by a host of state and national children's advocacy groups.
In a December decision that drew national attention, a majority of the justices ruled that Inouye had improperly incarcerated troubled youth before exhausting less severe alternatives.
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Briefs filed in the case suggest that the 56-year-old Inouye is a heartless judge who doesn't understand the social pathology of troubled kids in foster care.
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But Inouye said the recent Supreme Court ruling reflects an "ivory tower" mentality toward the problem of chronic foster-care runaways."My reaction was that they didn't have enough information on the ground about real situations and what kind of interventions sometimes are needed to help kids turn around," he said.
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Inouye, whose wife is a psychotherapist, said he is a big believer in mental health services."But in extreme cases, I can't get those services going because (the children) are making their decision to (run away)," he said.
The deeper issue, Inouye said, is the state Legislature's failure to fund secure inpatient treatment facilities for children with drug and mental health issues.The Legislature authorized judges to lock up kids for inpatient treatment but never appropriated money to pay for the facilities, Inouye said.
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Sonia Rodriguez, the public defender who represented Ochoa and the other girls jailed by Inouye, agrees that the state hasn't provided adequate resources to help.
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But Nichols disagrees that the state -- or Commissioner Inouye -- is overusing it, arguing that Inouye has made sure detention is employed only as a last resort."I think (Inouye) has a great deal of patience," Nichols said.
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But Inouye doesn't like that idea.Criminal contempt, he said, is a long process that wouldn't help a minor in a crisis.Plus, a conviction would stigmatize the child."I don't like the idea of criminalizing kids," Inouye said.

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