Presentations on the intersection between immigration and human trafficking issues in the state courts to Texas judges through the Texas Center for the Judiciary.
Presentations on Addressing Human Trafficking in the State Courts and What Does the Intersection of Language, Culture and Immigration Status Mean for Limited English Proficiency Assistance in the State Courts? at the annual conference of the National Association for Court Management, San Antonio.
Attendance by a court team at the National Summit on Human Trafficking and the State Courts.
Austin Phoenix Court
The Phoenix Court is a program for defendants who have been arrested in Travis County for misdemeanor prostitution charges and who want to change their life. It is a problem solving court that addresses the issues that contribute to making the individual vulnerable to committing the crime of prostitution. It gives the defendant the opportunity to make their life more manageable through support and direction of a trained and experienced Court and case management team. The goal of the Court team is to work to keep people out of jail so they can better their lives. Additionally, successful completion of the Phoenix Court program results in the participants’ charges being dismissed.
San Antonio Esperanza Court
The Bexar County Esperanza Court helps adult defendants arrested multiple times for prostitution by offering trauma, mental health, and substance abuse treatment.
Fort Worth RISE Court
The RISE (Reaching Independence through Self-Empowerment) Court is a post-adjudication specialty court program in Tarrant County for women with felony prostitution charges, or with at least one prostitution charge in the past, or who have no prior prostitution charges but through evaluation have confirmed indications they have been involved in prostitution, sex trafficking or past sexual trauma. The RISE program seeks to identify women who have a history of experiencing significant trauma in their past, who are at high-risk within the legal system, and possess multiple needs for sustainable, independent living. The program seeks to assess the needs of the individual, offer assistance and guidance, aid in the progression through the program, and provide them with a successful treatment plan that can empower the participant to lead a crime-free, substance abuse-free, and mentally stable lifestyle that is productive and sustainable.
Dallas STAR Court
The Strengthening, Transition, and Recovery (STAR) Court provides intensive supervision through judicial intervention, innovative case management and treatment to persons deemed high risk/high needs that have also been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder or substance abuse issue as well as a history of prostitution.
Houston SAFE Court
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office created the SAFE Court (Survivors Acquiring Freedom and Empowerment) for young adults from 17 to 25 who are first time offenders. Some repeat prostitution offenders in that age group may also be eligible. The program defers prosecution, links victims to services, and uses a specialized court docket to monitor compliance.
The Collaborative consulting team worked with a statewide committee assembled by the Texas State Office of Court Administration to identify the strategic issues that need to be addressed by the Texas Courts for dealing with human trafficking-involved cases. Once the major issues were identified, the committee was able to move forward without outside assistance.