Justice Department Awards More Than $67 Million To Combat Human Trafficking

DOJ News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has announced awards of more than $67 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 grant funding to support state, local and tribal jurisdictions’ efforts to protect human trafficking victims, prosecute those who commit trafficking crimes and support coordinated community responses to human trafficking throughout the United States
“Human trafficking is a particularly perverse and illegal form of evil that enriches its perpetrators by exploiting its victims in atrocious ways,” OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth said. “By making these important investments in our public safety and victim service infrastructure, the Department of Justice continues to offer safe havens to trafficking survivors even as we aggressively pursue and punish those who commit these heinous acts.”
OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime, Bureau of Justice Assistance, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded grants to jurisdictions and task forces all over the country. These awards will provide for mental health counseling and other services to human trafficking victims, training for investigators and prosecutors, and help bring public awareness to human trafficking issues.
The grants continue DOJ’s work to fight human trafficking and aid trafficking survivors. In a one-year period from mid-2016 to mid-2017, the Office for Victims of Crime’s human trafficking grantees served more than 8,000 clients and trained tens of thousands of investigators, service providers and judicial personnel.
A centerpiece of OJP’s anti-trafficking efforts is the network of human trafficking task forces across the United States. These task forces encourage a united effort among federal and local law enforcement, prosecutors and victim service providers to bring traffickers to justice and serve trafficking victims.
OJP awarded the following human trafficking grants in FY 2018:
Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Forces to Combat Human Trafficking: $23.1 million will help jurisdictions develop and implement effective task forces focused on identifying victims of sex and labor trafficking and provide services to meet their needs. Funds will also support the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels.
Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking: $16.5 million will enhance the quality and quantity of specialized services available to human trafficking victims, such as mental health services, housing assistance, education programs, substance abuse recovery or civil legal services.
Comprehensive Services for Victims of All Forms of Human Trafficking: $14.7 million will support organizations with a history of providing quality services to victims of all forms of human trafficking, as well as build the capacity of organizations to provide a wide range of comprehensive services to trafficking victims.
Specialized Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance: $2.7 million will provide intensive training and technical assistance to service providers and court personnel to assist them in developing and implementing effectiveinterventions to meet the needs of trafficking survivors.
Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking: $1.9 million will help improve the lives of child and youth victims of sex and labor trafficking by changing policy and programming at the state level that will help serve trafficking victims. Of this amount, approximately $600,000 is for training and technical assistance grants.
Field-Generated Innovations in Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking: $1.2 million will support innovative ways to provide trauma-informed services to victims of human trafficking and to address barriers in identifying and assisting labor trafficking victims.
Specialized Services and Mentoring for Child and Youth Victims of Sex Trafficking: The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded $1.8 million to three mentoring project sites and one training and technical assistance provider under this program, which helps organizations to develop or enhance their mentoring capacity, facilitate outreach efforts to identify victims, and increase the availability of direct services for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic sex trafficking.
Missing and Exploited Children Training and Technical Assistance: $1.8 million will support a training and technical assistance provider to design, develop, and provide training and technical assistance services to multi-disciplinary teams of prosecutors, state and local law enforcement, child protection personnel, medical providers, and other child service professionals to strengthen the overall response to missing and exploited children’s issues, including child sex trafficking.
National AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance: $3.4 million will support training and technical assistance for law enforcement and service providers to enhance their capacity, capability, skills, and response to incidents of missing, endangered, and abducted children and victims of child sex trafficking.