March 17: GIRLS court, Jury duty pay
Human trafficking is a national and international problem, with Houston near the center of the action. With all the positive attention Houston has received the past two years, its role as a major hub of human trafficking stands out as a major detriment. Recent statistics indicate nearly 20,000 people are brought into the country yearly with the overwhelming majority of them women and girls. Most of them are forced into prostitution and the highest number of them most likely passing into and through Houston.
Because of its proximity to Central America by air or sea and with major highways crossing north, east and west, officials in Harris County estimate that at any given moment, nearly 1,000 women are involved in the human trafficking sex trade. GIRLS court in the 315th Juvenile Court of Harris County is set up to make sure that women and girls caught in the sex trade are treated as victims rather than criminals.
Joining Khambrel is Associate Judge Angela Ellis from the 315th Juvenile Court and Olivia McGill, Ph.D. , Assistant Deputy Director-Health Services, Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. They talk about the startling statistics and about how many women are at risk, the challenge of getting them help and what it costs taxpayers to keep this growing problem in check.
Watch the conversation after the segment is over for even more insight into the heartache and joy, triumphs and failures these women deal with every day while trying to save women from dead end lives.
Also this week. Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel, who is pushing for passage of a bill in Austin that can result in more employers being able to pay employees for jury duty. Right now almost 40 percent of people who receive jury summons completely ignore them. That means fewer jurors from which to choose, less chance of a jury that represents our community with the result, a tremendous expense for taxpayers who pay for summons that go out with no positive results. Daniel explains why we should all get behind sponsoring lawmakers in Austin to get this HB 433 passed!
Watch Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall Sunday at 10 a.m., right after Meet the Press with David Gregory.