Midtown Community Court is one of the country's first "problem-solving" courts. The court seeks to reduce crime and incarceration, offering an array of services to individuals through its social services clinic, fatherhood/workforce development program and community restitution program. It is also the sole adolescent diversion and human trafficking court in Manhattan. With a mission of administering humane justice, the court works to advance community interests and public trust in courts.
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
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.