Specialty courts are now an established element of the justice system that is properly designed to run well as and represent an effective, efficient and accountable approach to dealing with substance abuse individuals. Specialty courts are problem-solving court approaches designed to address the reason for criminal activity through coordinated efforts of the judiciary, defense bar, prosecution, treatment, law enforcement, social services, mental health and child protection services. According to Kulig and Butler (2019), problem-solving courts got introduced to handle the distinctive needs of a number of criminals. The specialty courts are now courts that have been structured to process those that are linked to human trafficking issues. Ideally, the specialty courts focus on sex trafficking, prosecutors, judges and law execution officials address the needs of victims without focusing on punishment. The problem-solving courts have been effective in shifting how victims are being classified and treated. Therefore, the problem-solving courts have acted as another failsafe and an effective approach to react to the distinctive necessities of each victim offender.
Specialty courts have emerged as important features within the criminal justice scheme, especially for trafficking victims and offenders that misuse drugs. The problem-solving courts were brought about by the establishment and development of drug courts, which acted as a model of consequent disparities (Kulig and Butler, 2019). The problem-solving courts have been effective and more flexible in the way judges respond to clients. For instance, most judges in the specialty courts argue that these courts have a high level of autonomy and sense of efficacy. The specialty courts have separated offenders on the basis of characteristics that identify these individuals as having special needs, such as mental health issues and substance addiction.
Additionally, the specialty courts have been defined by the principle of personalized treatment, where these courts have been known for the conventional rehabilitative idea. The offenders may share similar issues, such as a mixture of factors causing that issues. The specialty court interventions are centred on individuals, thus making them more effective since the judges have a extensive discretion to fit treatment to the offender that is just having a standard sanction to the crime (Thielo et al., 2019). In specialty courts, the judges focus on therapeutic, legal decisions where they forfeit any impartiality and impersonality and actively collaborate with the probation officers, community members and human service providers to ensure that they find a solution to every offender’s problem.
The specialty courts in Columbus uses a catch court model that focuses on restoring the lives of the victims. The catch court model focuses on changing actions to change habits. The court catch models have been used to break the abuser’s cycle for prostitution, human trafficking and sexual exploitation by offering community resources. The diversion program introduced in specialty courts in Columbus has helped judges to direct human trafficking victims towards being rehabilitated rather than in jail. The program takes care of food, housing and other resources that these women need from their traffickers. The participants receive treatment for addiction and trauma, and they are eligible to get their records.
Specialty courts offer programs that are focused on addressing underlying issues that bring offenders to the court and try to connect them to additional services that are based on community-based corrections (Thielo et al., 2019). They have assisted participants to recover from addiction and avoiding future criminal activity while lowering the costs and burden of the repeated process. However, one of the potential drawbacks of the court catch program is that it suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after they are a victim of human trafficking. Much of the criticism on speciality court models have focused on the design and implementation of these models. The models have had an inappropriate response to the underlying issues of drug use and the criminal justice approach. Ideally, the problem-solving courts have created special courts which have violated the equality principle which has been created by the parallel judicial system. Individuals that meet the requirements of specialty courts fail to undergo the common judicial system as those that have been involved in similar circumstances.
In the 21st century, trafficking has been one of the vital human rights and law enforcement issues. To enable law enforcement to respond to the trafficking victims and improve ways in which the criminal justice system handles the potential victims of human trafficking. There is a need for specialized programs that may utilize trauma-informed, survivor-centred and harm reduction approaches (Thielo et al., 2019). For instance, the survivor-centred approach guarantees that the voices of the survivors are both integrated and elicited in the service planning. The harm reduction approaches will focus on a more rehabilitative framework, while the trauma-informed approach ensures that the stakeholders understand the impacts of the trauma and effective response strategies. The specialized court programs can largely focus on gender needs and services for the youths, which boost innovative practices within the judicial system.
Focusing on a victim-centred approach can also improve how the court system responds to trafficking victims. Ideally, the victim-centred approach seeks to lower re-traumatization linked to the criminal justice procedure. This can be done by offering support to the victim service providers and advocates and empowering survivors as engaged individuals in the process. The victim-centred approach has been a global best practice while handling the trafficking victim issues.