I just emailed Judge Angela Stokes who has started Project HOPE, a similar program to CATCH, and asked to meet with her. (These projects focus on offering women who have been arrested for solicitation a chance to enter a treatment program as an alternative to jail time etc.) These women are victims of human trafficking (trust me, I heard their stories yesterday). Will you pray that the judge will read my email and respond? Will you pray that I will have the opportunity to see Project HOPE in the same way that I got to attend CATCH? Will you pray that this will happen soon?
Read about Project HOPE here. Also, see this excerpt below:
Prostitution often referred to as human sex
trafficking is not a victimless crime. The act of
prostitution can physically and emotionally
destroy offenders while negatively impacting the
neighborhoods where it is most prevalent. In
1998, Judge Angela R. Stokes established
Project HOPE (Holistic Opportunities and
Preventative Education) which is the Cleveland
Municipal Court's rehabilitative program for
prostitution offenders. Project HOPE's mission is
to use the criminal justice system not only to stop
the commission of these crimes, but also to see
the offenders as victims in need of serious life
changes to reduce recidivism and help them become productive members of
Through Project HOPE, referrals are made for alcohol/drug abuse assessments
for treatment and counseling, mental health assessments and counseling,
recovery support groups, vocational skills assessments and training,
GED classes and higher education, social services and temporary housing
services. The participants of Project HOPE have two years to successfully
complete the curriculum and individually designed conditions.
Judge Stokes founded the "Come and See Speakers Bureau" whereby
community agencies provide dynamic speakers who are "Ambassadors of
Hope" and voluntarily give presentations at the monthly Project HOPE compliance
dockets because of their belief in Project HOPE and its participants.
Project HOPE is honored and thankful for the dedicated speakers from the
Cleveland Clinic Foundation's Community Outreach Program, Dress For
Success, Cornerstone of Hope, Cuyahoga County Child Enforcement
Agency and many other organizations.
Project HOPE has an Advisory Board which includes two former graduates
of Project HOPE, each of whom has eleven years off the streets. The
mentoring program for the participants of Project HOPE is in the process of
being expanded. Another goal is to establish a Project HOPE home.