More Than 165 Individuals Attend Human Trafficking Awareness Event Hosted By Ohio Supreme Court and Judge Ron Cable
A free training session entitled “Responding to Human Trafficking: One Case At-a-Time” was hosted by the Ohio Supreme Court and Akron Municipal Court Judge Ron Cable’s Restore Individual Self-Empowerment (RISE) Program on Monday, May 20 at The University of Akron’s Student Union Grand Ballroom.
More than 165 men and women were in attendance hoping to learn more about “red flags” associated with human trafficking and why victims stay with their exploiters. These individuals included judicial officers, prosecutors, attorneys, law enforcement and justice partners.
Speakers for the day were Afua Addo who serves as the Center for Court Innovation’s Coordinator for Project Services and Fundamental Enhancements and Danielle Pugh-Markie, MPA who serves as the Center for Court Innovation’s Director of Judicial Education and Leadership.
“I was so impressed with the information provided by the speakers and the participation from those in attendance,” said Judge Ron Cable. “The conversations we had as a group about human trafficking awareness were timely and I know the takeaways will help our community combat this issue as a whole.”
In October 2018, Akron Municipal Court Judge Ron Cable started the RISE Program which is dedicated to adult female victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and prostitution. Ohio law provides for expungement of certain offenses committed by human trafficking victims. It is the first program of its kind in Summit County and currently eight women are enrolled.
Through the Akron Municipal Court’s partnerships with outside agencies, RISE provides services such as trauma therapy, drug rehabilitation, mentoring, housing and vocational services. The program is voluntary and is modeled after the Franklin County Municipal Court’s Changing Actions To Change Habits (CATCH) Court started by Judge Paul Herbert in 2009.
This training was made possible by a Violence Against Women Act grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety to the Ohio Supreme Court. The grant supports technical assistance to local courts interested in enhancing their response to domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence and stalking.