Showing posts from May, 2023

Student Reflections from Working in the Lab 2022-2023

Over the past year, the majority of the work that I have done for the lab is centered around our adjudication project. I have been combing through the arrest record data for the counties of central Illinois in an attempt to locate cases of human trafficking which may have been charged as a lesser statute. Because the charge of human trafficking requires proving fraud, force, and coercion, it is an extremely difficult charge to prove. As such, prosecutors will sometimes choose to charge the defendant with a lesser statute to ensure a conviction. While scrolling the arrest records, I have been looking for sex crimes, charges of kidnapping, or domestic violence. I have learned a great deal about the nature of crimes in central Illinois (more than one might like to know). For example, the amount of domestic violence cases in our area is astounding and tragic. Additionally, there is a much greater quantity of sex crimes than I had previously expected, specifically crimes against children. T

Human Trafficking Vulnerability Assessment in Central Illinois

The Human Trafficking Research Lab (HTRL) at Millikin University conducted a Community Assessment of the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force (CIHTTF) in November 2021 in accordance with the guidelines of the Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs at the United States (US) Department of Justice. Then at the site visit in December 2021 we were asked by the grant monitors to update our assessment with more data on vulnerabilities in our region. Therefore, the goal for this Vulnerability Assessment is to identify areas within Central Illinois where vulnerabilities for trafficking and exploitation can occur.   The CIHTTF will use this assessment to continue to develop outreach strategies and priorities for the task force. The HTRL used a mix of quantitative data and qualitative interviews/correspondence with victim and survivor services organizations, law enforcement, and the states

The Impact of the Pandemic on Human Trafficking Trainings

The Human Trafficking Research Lab began tracking human trafficking trainings in Central Illinois in 2019 and we wrote this research brief to update a previous brief from 2020. The pandemic had a large impact on these trainings and this research brief aims to examine how the pandemic impacted human trafficking training in Central Illinois. In 2020, the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force completed 52 different trainings. This was a 43% decrease from 2019 when 91 trainings were conducted.  We also saw a increase in virtual trainings in 2020 when 75% (39) of the trainings were virtual and only 25% (13) were in-person. A total of 1,134 individuals from a variety of different organizations were trained for a cumulative number of 80.25 hours. In 2021, the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force completed 60 different trainings, an increased of 15% from 2020. Of these trainings 58% (35) were virtual and 41% (25) were in person, indicating a decrease in virtual trainings from