Rep. Adam Miller Testifies On Legislation To Tackle Human Trafficking And Prostitution
New grant program would support CATCH courts and Johns schools
January 24, 2020
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COLUMBUS- State Rep. Adam C. Miller (D-Columbus) today testified on behalf of House Bill (HB) 314, which would establish a grant program to help local courts tackle the problem of prostitution in Ohio.  The million-dollar grant program would fund two important efforts aimed at cracking down and preventing human trafficking and prostitution.

“For too long we tried to combat human trafficking by increasing fines and penalties, and it hasn’t worked. The programs this grant seeks to support are innovative because they go to the fundamental root cause of sexual abuse,” said Miller. “We need to increase the size and scope of current innovative programs and give a helping hand to smaller communities that are facing the challenges of opioids and the side effect of increases in prostitution.”

The grant program, administered by the Attorney General’s office, would fund Changing Actions to Change Habits (CATCH) courts and Johns Schools throughout Ohio. 

A CATCH Court is a human trafficking specialized docket. The docket with the Franklin County Municipal Court includes an integrated approach to meet the treatment, health and behavioral needs of defendants who have been charged with prostitution, solicitation, loitering to solicit, or other offenses if the defendant has a history of being a victim of human trafficking. CATCH is a non-adversarial rather than an exclusively punitive approach. Only three other counties, Summit, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton, have similar programs.

John Schools are specialized educational programs that can include therapeutic treatment for prostitute clients who have been arrested. The goal of John Schools are to present options for sanctioning and educating offenders in order to prevent recidivism. Educational programs also include awareness of the devastating impact prostitution can have on the victims, the clients, and the community. John School graduates can also serve as amplifiers to prevent others from engaging in prostitution and human trafficking. Johns Schools in Ohio are located in Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo.

At this time, it is unclear when HB 314 will have a second hearing in the House Criminal Justice Committee.    

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