Esperanza Court Program celebrates first class of graduates

Court program offers hope, help to prostitutes

By Isis Romero - Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - The Esperanza Court Program celebrated its first class of graduates on Friday, marking the beginning of what organizers hopes to be a successful program for Bexar County.

The program, which began in May 2014, helps those arrested multiple times for prostitution by offering trauma, mental health and substance abuse treatment, all while getting them educated and on their feet.

“I am amazed at the progress of all of these women, they have done so well,” said Judge Mary Roman, who oversaw the program at its inception. “For them to overcome all those obstacles that they have faced is amazing.”

Family and friends of graduates crowded into Crosspoint Inc. on the city’s East Side for Friday’s emotional ceremony.

“They've stopped that revolving door,” said Judge Lorina Rummel, of the 144th District Court. “They're drug-free. They're alcohol-free. They’re not reoffending. They have jobs. They have reclaimed their families, their parents, their children. They're productive members of society. They are happy and now they're role models for more participants in this program.”

Rummel is now overseeing the program after Roman announced her retirement.  Moving forward, Rummel said she hopes to have two graduations per year.

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