The response to trafficking victims can be incorporated into existing problem-solving courts. Many jurisdictions already have problem-solving courts where victim-defendants may appear, so it is important for task forces to engage with their local problem-solving courts to help inform and enhance victim-defendant identification and coordination of trauma-informed services.
Problem-solving courts invoke the power of the court to help leverage a more informed response across a multidisciplinary team. Judicial officers serve in a neutral role as leaders and collaborators, helping to enhance collaboration among the multidisciplinary team members, including:
Community courts focus on reducing crime and incarceration and improving the public perception of the court system. To address human trafficking, community courts may identify alternative treatment as a way of addressing underlying social issues as well as reducing jail time.
Example: The Cleveland Municipal Court has a specialized human trafficking docket that screens potential victims for referral to recovery support services.
Rather than specific courts, some jurisdictions may have specialized dockets, with a dedicated staff to provide a specialized and trauma-informed response to identified victim-defendants. These dockets may rely on a trauma-informed screening method throughout the entire court to ensure that victim-defendants are identified and referred appropriately.
For additional information, visit Resources 6.4.