For the past few weeks, I have been working on sending Freedom of Information Act (or FOIA) requests to different counties in central Illinois. By sending these requests, we are hoping to receive the jail bookings and arrest data in these counties over the past twenty years as they relate to human trafficking cases. Though most counties accept a letter of request, some have specific forms they require to be filled out in order to receive the information we require. Thus, I have been doing research on each county to determine not only if they have specific forms required, but to determine which office would best be able to fulfill my request, as each request cannot be sent to the same offices in each county. Most State Attorney’s offices are able to help us with our requests, but not all. For some counties, the Sheriff's office holds this information. So, through trial and error, I have worked to send out these requests to whichever office is best suited to help us. Due to the nature of our request and the quantity of information we are asking for, not all counties that have been requested from have been able/willing to turn over the information we need. Though this is a setback, I will continue to work diligently to send out FOIA requests to central Illinois counties to gather the information needed.
The Community Assessment for the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force is completed and available to read here . The Human Trafficking Research Lab at Millikin would like to thank all the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force members who took time to fill out this survey and provide a valuable evaluation for the future of the task force. We would especially like to thank Sara Sefried and Matt Fuller and other Steering Committee members who provided valuable feedback in the pretest versions of the community assessment survey. The survey was administered in Qualtrics and we would like to thank Linda Collinsworth and the Behavioral Sciences Department at Millikin University for their assistance gaining access to this software. The statistical analyses were performed in Stata12, the network analysis was constructed with NodeXL, the maps were formulated in Tableau 2018, and the frequency analysis and qualitative coding were constructed MAXQDA 2020. Respondent answers were
We just wrapped up our fifth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Month panel discussion at Millikin University and the event was a huge success. Around 40 students, faculty, staff and community members came out before the big snow storm to learn about the intersections of human trafficking education and training. We hosted Matthew Fuller, Human Trafficking Training Specialist at the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria, Cindy Kuro, Prevention Educator from the Set Free Movement-Macon County, and Cheris Larson, Program Manager at Project OZ in Bloomington. The panel discussion focused on the educational opportunities, prevailing pedagogies on human trafficking, challenges to teaching about this hidden crime, and how to combat disinformation through learning opportunities. The panel discussion was sponsored by the Set Free Movement-Macon County and the Department History and Political Science at Millikin University. We are thankful for our wonderful advocates and educators in Central