By William J. Brunson of The National Judicial College, Steve Weller of Center for Public Policy Studies, Marie Komisar of National Association of Women Judges and John A. Martin of Center for Public Policy Studies
- the purpose of educational programs for judges and court practitioners about human trafficking;
- the topics that should be addressed and contents of educational programs; and
- tools and resources to support programs
Courts need to increase awareness about the dynamics involved in human trafficking and how these dynamics might alter case processing and the infrastructure needed to support more effective case processing.
Recognition is growing that human trafficking, for both sex and labor, is a widespread problem in the United States. It is a crime that can be committed against both immigrants and United States citizens and against both children and adults. Human trafficking issues can arise in all types of cases, including felony, misdemeanor, juvenile, family, administrative, and civil.
All 50 states now have state statutes that address human trafficking, and the number of state prosecutions of traffickers is likely to increase as human trafficking task forces and local law enforcement agencies expand their efforts to combat all forms of trafficking. Judges and court practitioners need to know about these statutes. Further, as state human trafficking statutes are relatively new, prosecutors often prosecute crimes involving human trafficking under alternative statutes such as procuring prostitution, unlawful imprisonment, assault, and similar statutes. Judges and court practitioners need to know how to recognize when this type of case may involve a human trafficking victim.
This chapter discusses the education needs of judges and court practitioners to enable them to recognize when human trafficking may be occurring, especially in cases where the trafficker is prosecuted under a different statute, and what options they have to assist the victims.