Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $758,811)
Sex trafficking operations rely on recruiting and retaining potential victims. More research is needed on recruitment, specifically networks, flows of people, goods and money, and cascading impacts of interventions on the operation, victims, the marketplace, and society. The proposed study will build on a previously funded National Science Foundation study. They will gather data in Minnesota from (1) detailed sex trafficking investigation case file reviews (N=8 networks including single pimp, pimp networks, large family-based operations, massage parlors, and brothel types) expected to be more than 8,000 pages; and (2) key informant interviews with law enforcement, service providers and survivors (N=50). This mixed-methods study combines qualitative research, operations research, and a community-based participatory approach to develop mathematical models that will inform criminal justice related decision-making in the field. The design includes:
(1) qualitative data collection,
(2) transformation of data into a data file of node/arc relationships and characteristics,
(3) mathematical modelling using the data file, and
(4) outputs of visualization of recruitment networks and dynamics of interventions and disruptions.
This project has the potential to contribute to the fields ability to inform practitioners where interventions can be used not only to interrupt recruitment strategies in one portion of a network, but the innovative methods may reduce the likelihood of victim replacement and ultimately reduce the number of victims of trafficking overall.
Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law, and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF