The Rutgers Law International Human Rights Clinic has released a white paper entitled: “Pilot Diversion Program for Human Trafficking Victims: Initial Observations and Recommendations for New Jersey.”
The white paper evaluates successful diversion programs around the country and provides criteria and guidelines that it believes should be incorporated into New Jersey-based diversion program for human trafficking victims. These programs divert vulnerable populations and low-level criminal offenders from jail to therapeutic and rehabilitative programs that will keep them away from the criminal justice system, and support them while they heal, gain confidence, and secure employment and housing.
This project was started by the clinic’s Director, Professor Penny Venetis, and two of her students, Rachael Newcomb and Emily Rose Tomasko, both RLAW ‘21 after the law school’s in-person classes were suspended because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“Human trafficking advocates, and our colleagues in government have been talking about this project for quite some time,” Venetis said. “We decided to use time away from the law school to think big, and to try to develop an initial roadmap to bring this diversion program closer to fruition. We have to ensure that human trafficking victims get the services they deserve. That, first and foremost, involves that they stay out of jail.”
The clinic plans on continuing with this project, with partners across disciplines, as well as with survivors and community groups. The International Human Rights Clinic plans to develop a comprehensive pilot program, that It hopes will be adopted in various parts of New Jersey by the end of 2021.