Justice Department Invests More Than $47 Million to Combat Human Trafficking and Assist Victims
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recently announced more than $47 million in funding to combat human trafficking and provide vital services to trafficking victims throughout the United States.
As part of this announcement, Associate Attorney General Rachel L. Brand visited the national headquarters of the International Association of Chiefs of Police this afternoon, where she met with Executive Director Vincent Talucci, Deputy Executive Director Terrence Cunningham, and Director for Programs Domingo Herraiz. While there, she provided notification that the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) had awarded the organization a $1 million grant to support a National Anti-Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement Task Force, which supports criminal justice systems efforts to investigate, and prosecute all forms of human trafficking.
“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the victims of human trafficking,” said Associate Attorney General Brand. “DOJ grants provide training and technical assistance to state and local law governments, law enforcement, and victim service organizations.”
Approximately $31 million of the funds was awarded under nine OJP grant programs. The grants aim to support the criminal justice system’s efforts to investigate and prosecute all forms of human trafficking; offer victims services through experienced providers; and seeks to strengthen communities’ responses to the sexual exploitation and forced labor of victims by raising community awareness and providing training and technical assistance.
Grants awarded under Fiscal Year 2017 OJP programs include the following:
- Specialized Services for Victims of All Forms of Human Trafficking; About $7.5 million to 13 victim service organizations to enhance the quality and quantity of specialized services available to all victims of human trafficking.
- Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs; Approximately $5 million to support an award to Equal Justice Works, which will partner with qualified nonprofit organizations to host attorneys who will provide comprehensive and holistic legal services to survivors of human trafficking and enforce victims' rights.
- Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking: A Jurisdiction Wide Approach; Nearly $5.2 million to four states to improve jurisdiction-wide coordination and multidisciplinary collaboration to address the trafficking of children and youth.
- Comprehensive Services for Victims of All Forms of Human Trafficking; Over $3.6 million to five community agencies under this program with a demonstrated history of serving victims of human trafficking.
- Specialized Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance for Service Providers; $1.7 million to the Freedom Network USA and Futures Without Violence to help victim service providers develop and implement housing and employment practices that better serve victims of human trafficking.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office for Victims of Crime awarded four grants totaling nearly $3 million to two multidisciplinary human trafficking task forces under theEnhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking Program. This initiative supports task forces made up of victim service providers, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors that implement a victim-centered approach and work collaboratively to identify sex and labor trafficking victims of all ages and sexes; investigate and prosecute trafficking cases at the local, state, tribal and federal levels; and provide a comprehensive array of quality services that address the individualized needs of victims.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded $1 million to the International Association of Chiefs of Police to support National Anti-Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement Task Forces. The task forces support efforts to investigate, and prosecute all forms of human trafficking. For a list of OVC and BJA awardees, visit https://go.usa.gov/xRhQ7.
The National Institute of Justice awarded about $2 million to three research organizations under theResearch and Evaluation on Trafficking in Persons program, which funds research and evaluation efforts to understand, prevent and respond to trafficking in persons in the United States. For a list of NIJ awardees, visit https://go.usa.gov/xRh8f.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) awarded approximately $1.9 million to three mentoring project sites and one training site under the Mentoring for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Sex Trafficking Initiative. This program helps organizations develop their capacity to respond to the needs of child victims. For a list of OJJDP awardees, visit https://go.usa.gov/xRhQs.
In addition to the awards, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) transferred more than $16 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs to help address the housing needs of human trafficking victims. OVC also dedicated funding of about $100,000 to the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU) within the DOJ Civil Rights Division for training and technical assistance. HTPU provides anti-trafficking training and technical assistance to agencies outside of DOJ, and follows several mandates since the passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.