Thursday, March 31, 2016

Manhattan Human Trafficking Intervention Court

By Afua Addo and Miriam Goodman

Miriam Goodman is the Assistant Director of Anti-Trafficking and Trauma Initiatives, and Afua Addo is the Women’s Services Coordinator, at the Center for Court Innovation. This blog post is apart of Midtown Community Court's monthly social media issue campaign. This month's issue campaign focuses on services for women who are justice involved. 

Midtown Community Court houses the Manhattan Human Trafficking Intervention Court (HTIC). The HTIC is a specialized court for people arrested for prostitution related charges. MCC offers alternative to jail programming for people in the HTIC. Programming is based on the principles of strengths based and trauma informed care. Trauma informed care recognizes the prevalence and effects of trauma on individuals, and responds with an intervention that is appropriate and not harmful. Strengths based response incorporates a person’s values and positive attributes into the discussion of confidence and skill.

Our program begins with an individual assessment. Based on the individual client needs we then provide short-term individual and/or group counseling and referrals to necessary community based services.

While there are many things to highlight about this work, we wanted to honor the incredible resiliency of the people we work with. Many of the HTIC clients have experienced continuous and unimaginable trauma and yet are still able to love, laugh, and grow. Resilience can be described as the ability to overcome challenges and setbacks and turn them into opportunities for growth and development. Every day our participants demonstrate the core characteristics of resiliency: a growing sense of purpose, a driving force for life vision building, perseverance, and an ability to view the glass as half full when half empty, and the belief in one’s self despite what she has been through. 

It is truly empowering, energizing, and an honor to work with people who consistently demonstrate such incredible strength to keep going.