Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice Corey Shdaimah and co-author Professor Chrysanthi Leon of University of Delaware have a new article published in a Special Issue the New Criminal Law Review based on findings from their studies of criminal justice professionals (N=45) working with court-affiliated prostitution diversion programs.
They found that actors make use of the tools at their disposal—in this case, the concept of trauma—to further personal and professional goals. Professionals in specialized diversion programs recognize the inadequacy of criminal justice systems and believe that women who sell sex do so as a response to past harms and a lack of social, emotional, and material resources to cope with their trauma. Trauma shapes the kinds of interventions and expertise that are marshalled in response. Specialized programs create "seepage" into mainstream programs that may reduce solely punitive responses and pave the way for better services. However, they largely fail to address societal forces that are the root causes of harm and resultant trauma. This may have more to do with imagined capacities than with the objectively best approaches. More details can be found at https://nclr.ucpress.edu/content/22/4/542