Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $450,000)
In response to Category 1 of OVC’s FY2021 Enhancing Juvenile and Family Court Responses to Human Trafficking solicitation, Justice Innovation Inc. d/b/a Center for Court Innovation (Center) requests $450,000 over three years to enhance and expand Queens HOPE (Heal, Overcome, Prosper, Empower), a trauma-informed, survivor-centered program for young people, ages 12-18, who are at-risk of or are victims of trafficking. The program, operated by the Center’s Queens Community Justice Center, located in Jamaica, Queens, in New York, will expand services to the Center’s new Far Rockaway, Queens site.
The main goals of the program are to provide direct specialized services and diversion programs for Queens youth who are victims of sex and/or labor trafficking or are at risk for human trafficking due to past or current victimization to meet their treatment needs, prevent re-traumatization and further justice system involvement, and educate stakeholders to increase awareness and identification of sex and/or labor trafficking involving youth. To this end, the Justice Center will pursue the following:
Provide screening, assessment, clinical services, and case management services to 100 young people;
Provide evidence-based programs or practices to 100 percent of participants;
Create a Queens-specific multidisciplinary task force comprised of court- and community-based service providers and trafficking survivor consultants to inform the work of Queens HOPE, ensure the program’s sensitivity to LGBTQI youth and youth of all genders, and facilitate relationship-building to ensure coordination of services;
Increase knowledge of the commercial sex/labor trafficking industry and understanding of the risks, dynamics, and short- and long-term implications on health, safety, mental health, and social stability for 100 percent of participating court and community stakeholders;
Identify a positive support system outside of the family unit (e.g., school, employment, prosocial activities, positive adult in the community) for 90 percent of participants;
Build internal capacity by providing training, ongoing professional development, and support related to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and labor trafficking to staff; and
Participate in an annual peer-to-peer learning opportunity hosted by the OVC-funded training and technical assistance provider in each year of the project.
The Center is a national leader in the development, study, and dissemination of community-based and problem-solving justice system initiatives. The proposed project will build on the Center’s system change expertise and long history of advancing juvenile justice reforms as well as work providing support to survivors of human trafficking.