Researchers explore effective strategies for intelligence gathering from victims of sex trafficking.

Allison Redlich, Professor, Criminology, Law and Society, and David B. Wilson, Professor, Criminology, Law and Society, are conducting the third phase of a study aimed at determining effective strategies for intelligence gathering from victims of sex trafficking.

In the first phase of their study, the researchers evaluated manipulation tactics perpetrators use to gain victim compliance, linking these tactics to victims’ cooperation with law enforcement during criminal investigations and trials (prosecution).

In the second phase, they surveyed law enforcement’s experiences, needs, and challenges when questioning these often recalcitrant victims.

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In this phase, the researchers will take a macro-level approach to understanding prosecutions in trafficking cases by analyzing administrative court data. More specifically, they will analyze federal and state-level court data to identify trends in trafficking case progression and outcomes, and types of evidence presented. 

The objectives of Phase III are to identify patterns of case outcomes (e.g., pleas, guilty verdicts, etc.) in federal and state prosecuted cases involving trafficking and document the types of evidence present in trafficking cases, such as victim statements, defendant confessions, etc.

To date, the researchers have received $115,987 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for this project. Funding began in July 2021 and will end in late June 2022.

IMAGE CREDIT: Tony Webster.

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