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Prostitution, Human Trafficking, and Victim Identification: Establishing an Evidence-Based Foundation for a Specialized Criminal Justice Response

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $242,000)

A. Statement of the Problem.
The past five years have seen the sudden growth of specialized diversion programs and courts in response to the intersecting problems of prostitution and human trafficking. To inform policies in these new models, a strong evidence-based foundation does not yet exist concerning the size, characteristics, needs, and victimization experiences of the trafficked population.

B. Subjects
The study will be implemented with a minimum of 320 adults who exchange sex for money in New York City prostitution markets.

C. Partnerships
To complete the proposed research project, the Center for Court Innovation will partner with the Vera Institute of Justice, whose work will involve broad consultation on planned research strategies.

D. Research Design and Methods
The study will involve interviews in community settings, using proven respondent-driven sampling (RDS) techniques, to understand the size, needs, characteristics, and victimization status of adults engaged in prostitution. In addition, the interviews will yield insight into experiences in existing human trafficking intervention courts (HTICs), since research subjects I will include individuals who (1) were processed in an HTIC and (2) were processed through a non-specialized court.

E. Analysis
The research will culminate in the use of standard quantitative analysis techniques (e.g., descriptive and correlation analysis. multivariable regressions, and interview content analysis); along with transcript production and qualitative analysis of emergent themes and findings.

F. Products, Reports, and Data Archiving
The study will ultimately spawn an executive summary for NIJ ; a series of research journal publications; and a series of policymaker/practitioner publications that identify major findings in accessible prose. Multi-media dissemination will also include posting products to web sites; e-mail blasts, Twitter updates, and audio interviews to announce and publicize publications; and conference presentations. Quantitative datasets will be stripped of identifiers and archived, per NIJ policy. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 16, 2014