This report presents the findings and methodology of an evaluation of the federal Enhanced Collaborative Model (ECM) Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking Program, which supports communities’ development of effective and sustainable multidisciplinary task forces that use victim-centered approaches in identifying survivors of sex and labor trafficking, providing services to survivors, and investigating and prosecuting all forms of human trafficking.
In addition, the evaluation analyzed differences in grantee task force implementation models. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 10 diverse ECM task forces across the United States. Qualitative data collection included semi-structured interviews with 143 task force stakeholders, including 60 law enforcement officials, 23 prosecutors, 55 victim service providers, and 5 other relevant task force stakeholders of the 10 ECM task forces. Quantitative data collection included a review and coding of 226 closed case files of investigations into potential human trafficking collected from 8 of the 10 task forces. Overall, the evaluation concluded that the ECM model has helped task forces obtain resources for their work in countering human trafficking. Most of the ECM task forces evaluated focused on identifying and investigating sex trafficking. Most investigations into suspected sex trafficking resulted in arrests and prosecution; however, only 33 percent of these cases were prosecuted using human-trafficking charges. One reason for this was to secure a guilty plea and avoid potential survivor testimony as part of a victim-centered approach. Most ECM task forces were having difficulty in responding to labor trafficking. Reasons for this are discussed. More targeted training on labor trafficking is desired by the task forces. The evaluation recommends other ways to improve the functioning and effectiveness of ECM task forces. 20 tables, 3 figures, and appended study instruments