Oglethorpe University will host an exploratory program addressing the issue of human trafficking, facilitated by The Honorable Paul Herbert of Franklin County Municipal Court (Columbus, Ohio). 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 combating human trafficking will participate.
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.
“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 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. 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.
Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe University is Atlanta’s liberal arts and sciences university, home to 1150 eclectic and engaged students representing 32 states and 38 countries. In recent years, Oglethorpe has entered an era of innovation, reinvigoration, and growth, evidenced by a dramatic rise in enrollment, increased philanthropic giving, and new strategic entrepreneurial partnerships. To accommodate growth, Oglethorpe’s campus has seen the addition of a $16 million campus center, the expansion of arts and athletics facilities, and the addition of a new residential apartment complex that includes 6,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratories for teaching and learning. Renowned for its groundbreaking Core program, Oglethorpe connects theory and practice through the A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning), which serves as an incubator for students’ real-world experiential learning through civic engagement, global education, professional development and undergraduate research. The university has further expanded its global reach through a strategic partnership with study abroad provider LeadAbroad and the launch of Global Oglethorpe (GO) programs in Rome and Barcelona (summer 2016). The Conant Performing Arts Center and the OU Museum of Art, as well as strategic partnerships with several leading Atlanta arts organizations, bring the Atlanta arts community to campus and provide Oglethorpe students with opportunities to work and perform alongside some of the nation’s top artists and performers. Oglethorpe is the only university in Georgia to be named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for commitment to and achievement in community service every year since its inception. Oglethorpe is a member of the Annapolis Group, comprised of America’s most selective liberal arts institutions, and has been named among the best colleges by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Forbes and USA Today. The Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels compete in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association. Website: www.oglethorpe.edu
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