Brookhaven, GA, March 14, 2016 – The Post Reports – Facilitated by the Honorable Paul Herbert of Franklin County Municipal Court (Columbus, Ohio), Oglethorpe University will host an exploratory program addressing the issue of human trafficking. The event will be held Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the Turner Lynch Campus Center, Trustee Room, and is open to the public. Atlanta-area groups devoted to combatting human trafficking will participate.
“When the CATCH program was formed in 2009, the focus was on reducing recidivism rates of people who had lengthy criminal histories because of multiple solicitation and prostitution convictions,” said Judge Herbert. “Over time, it became clear to me that participants had suffered a tremendous amount of trauma as victims of human trafficking. With the support of my fellow judges, court staff, various treatment and service providers, and other community partners, the CATCH program helps participants overcome the trauma they have experienced and move on to become active and committed members of the community.”
Judge Herbert received the 2015 Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services from the U.S. Department of Justice, in recognition of his efforts to combat the human trafficking cycle through Franklin County Municipal Court’s CATCH (Changing Actions to Change Habits) Specialized Docket program. Specialized dockets are problem-solving courts that target certain populations based on the type of offense or on the traits of offenders. Specialized dockets use a combination of different techniques to hold offenders accountable while also addressing underlying causes, which usually include mental health disorders or drug and alcohol dependency.
Judge Paul Herbert is a lifelong resident of Columbus, Ohio and has been licensed to practice law for 23 years. Judge Herbert graduated from The Ohio State University and Capital University Law. After a brief private law practice, Judge Herbert became an Assistant County Prosecutor and later served as Chief of the Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk’s Office, where he eventually assumed and was elected Clerk of Court in 1996.
Judge Herbert was elected to the Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus, Ohio, in 2003, and was re-elected to that position in 2009. While serving on the court, Judge Herbert started a specialized program in fall 2009, focusing on human trafficking victims charged with the misdemeanor offense of solicitation.
“The results have been nothing short of miraculous,” Judge Herbert said in a release. “Women in Columbus now have a safe path to exit this vicious lifestyle, they are being reunited with their families, not committing new offenses, furthering their educations and giving back to the community in significant ways.”
What: Human Trafficking Summit
When: March 30 – 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Oglethorpe University Turner Lynch Campus Center