The EMERGE: Crossroads Diversion Program provides an alternative to incarceration for sex workers in New Orleans. A diversion program allows individuals arrested and accused of a crime with an opportunity to gain access to social services and other assistance. Successful completion of a diversion program allows individuals to avoid trial, conviction and jail time.
Crossroads Diversion Program is dedicated to assisting women arrested and charged with misdemeanor state and municipal prostitution offenses. If arrestees qualify and elect to participate in Crossroads, participants will be released on their own recognizance by the Judge to report to Women With A Vision (WWAV) for an intake interview and assessment. Case management and counseling services are provided by WWAV. The WWAV case manager will work with the participants to develop an individualized service plan tailored to their needs. The service plan would consist of a discrete number of mandatory sessions. A session is a group/individual counseling or class/activity focusing on:
Communication Styles , Safer-Sex Ed., GED Classes, Job/Interview Skills, Identifying Emotions, Healthy Relationships, Undoing Internalized Oppression, Stress Management, Financial Responsibility & Understanding Triggers
Women in our program will be given space to examine and enhance their personal strengths using the Moving On Curriculum. The purpose of this curriculum is to aid women in the exploration of historical trauma and oppression faced at the intersection of their identities. We do so through holistically approaching each session with a special focus on art as a therapeutic tool for addressing trauma and stress. Through workshops where we create vision boards, take part in reflective writing sessions and other arts based processes, we encourage women to empower themselves to make the decisions they need to. As one participant said: "I'm glad that there's a program that's trying to help women & not put them away".
Funded by New Orleans, LA (August 2014)