Research Roller Coasters

This fall semester working on human trafficking arrest data compilation and analysis was a rollercoaster of successes and minor setbacks. For most of the semester, I was tasked with analyzing data that I had previously compiled from county arrest data. I was specifically looking for any further information regarding the arrestees. I hoped to find news articles or arrest websites with descriptions of the facts of each case. This was to attempt to find out more information to categorize an arrest as human trafficking. However, finding this data has proved to be extremely difficult. Many of the cases result in empty searches, with news articles discussing particular arrests only ever directly quoting the charges that have already been recorded. For a small number of cases, I did find information clarifying the facts of the arrest, however there is still little to no public information on the human trafficking issues intersecting may of the arrests. Some of the searches have resulted in positive results, with specific descriptions pointing to human trafficking. Though this has been frustrating in the research process, it follows the pattern of human trafficking coverage that brought the lab to research arrest data in the first place. The lack of news coverage or public record regarding the facts of the arrests, exemplifies the ongoing issues that human trafficking researchers and organizations face when attempting to tackle the issue of human trafficking in our local communities. Without a clear record or reliable resource for reporting human trafficking in arrest that are not originally charged as human trafficking, it is extremely difficult to actively quantify and attack the human trafficking happening in central Illinois.

Jadon Cox


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