Survivors of sex trafficking are usually treated as criminals rather than victims. But some courts have begun to recognize that those arrested on prostitution charges are often victims of coercion, violence, and trauma. Our new video, From Defendant to Survivor, profiles the innovative approaches being taken by courts in Los Angeles, New York City, and Columbus, Ohio.
Based in Rockford, Illinois, the Winnebago County Domestic Violence Coordinated Courts set a national example for responding to domestic violence. Intimate-partner criminal cases are heard in one courtroom, civil cases (including all domestic violence-related divorce cases and intimate partner orders of protection) in another. On-site victim advocacy, advanced clerical practices, open communication among the court and community agencies, and other innovative practices are key to the success of the court.
Lawrence Marks, the chief administrative judge of the State of New York, answers the question: How has the Center for Court Innovation helped the New York Court System advance its goals of bringing justice to the residents of New York?