In 2008, Franklin County, Ohio, Municipal Court Judge Paul Herbert had a startling epiphany. After spending days watching females victims of domestic abuse in his courtroom, observing their injuries, their demeanor, and their fear, he observed that the women coming into his court on prostitution charges often looked very similar. The same injuries, the same fearful attitude, the same threatening men staring at them from the gallery.
That was the beginning of C.A.T.C.H. (Changing Actions to Change Habits) Court, a first-of-its-kind therapeutic justice program for women who appear in court as victims of human trafficking. More than 50 women have graduated from the program since its inception in 2009, going to further their educations, get jobs, have the opportunity to raise their children, and essentially, start their lives again.
Sr. Nadine Buchanan, OP, volunteers at C.A.T.C.H. Court as part of her personal ministry to trafficked women in Columbus
Herbert and his Court Coordinator, Hannah Estabrook, were part of a lunch and learn focused on trauma-informed justice at the Martin de Porres Center. to view the program in its entirety, please click here.