Franklin County CATCH Court Staffers Visit Akron Municipal Court
Akron Municipal Court Judge Ron Cable recently coordinated a visit from two members of the Franklin County Municipal Court’s CATCH (Changing Actions To Change Habits) Court staff with hopes of bringing a similar program to Akron. CATCH Court is a specialized docket specifically created for adult female victims of human trafficking, prostitution and sexual exploitation.
Hannah Estabrook, Coordinator of CATCH at the Franklin County Municipal Court, and Gwen England, Franklin County Municipal Court Probation Officer, spoke to Akron Municipal Court team members and several community partners on June 29 about the efforts associated with program’s inception and how women are identified as eligible to participate.
Specialized dockets are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders and use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior. If a program similar to CATCH Court is created on a local level, this type of docket would be the first for female adults in Summit County.
“Human trafficking is a problem in our state. There are already at least three other Ohio courts with adult human trafficking dockets in communities similar to Akron. The law provides for expungement of certain offenses committed by human trafficking victims. It is important that Akron Municipal Court be able to identify and help these victims,” said Judge Cable.
The Akron Municipal Court currently has a total of five specialized dockets: Mental Health Court led by Judge Annalisa S. Williams, Family Intervention Court led by Judge Kathryn Michael, OVI (Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated) Court led by both Judge Williams and Judge Michael, Valor Court for veterans led by Judge Jerry Larson and Recovery Court led by Judge Jon Oldham.
Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio leads Restore Court, a human trafficking themed docket for youth in our community.
Judge Ron Cable was elected to the bench in 2017.