Recently, I have been working with Dr. Dean to finalize our community assessment. The community assessment was a survey sent out to members of the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force to assess the task force as part of the Department of Justice grant requirements. The survey was available to complete online or via a telephone call in which I would ask the members of the task force the questions and record their answers. It included questions in which respondents could rate the effectiveness of our task and identify its strengths and weaknesses. Our goal was to assess the effectiveness now as a pre-test in hopes that in three years, when we complete a post-test community assessment, the members of the task force will be more satisfied with their work. After the survey was completed, we began to assess the information. I worked on the qualitative information, i.e. the answers in which respondents were able to type out their response as a fill in the blank. I looked through the answers, finding common themes among them all and reported those findings back to Dr. Dean to include in the finalized report. After all the information was assessed and put into a report, I made a presentation with the help of Dr. Dean, which we then presented to the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. In this presentation, I included what I found to be the most important findings from the survey, such as our strengths as listed by the members, the reach of our network across Illinois, the recommendations for improvement listed by the respondents, and both short and long-term solutions which Dr. Dean cultivated.
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 natur
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
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