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Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative Releases New Website

The SJI-funded Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative recently released a new website that will serve as a portal for all the TA work, education/training, and resources associated with this project. Each member of the Collaborative will provide updates on their activities using the website, providing a centralized location for all the information available on this critical issue.

Beginning in FY 2013, SJI supported a Strategic Initiatives Grant (SIG) to the Center for Public Policy Studies/The National Judicial College/Center for Court Innovation (CPPS/NJC/CCI) to form a Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative focused on 4 strategic priorities: 1) increasing understanding and awareness about the challenges faced by state courts in dealing with cases involving trafficking victims and their families, and traffickers; 2) developing and testing state and local approaches for assessing and addressing the impact of human trafficking victims and defendants in the state courts; 3) enhancing state and local court capacity to improve court services affected by human trafficking-related case processing demands; and 4) building effective national, state, and local partnerships for addressing the impacts of human trafficking case processing in the state courts.

The Collaborative will result in a variety of products benefiting the state courts, including:

  • A comprehensive resource inventory of background information about the demographics, scope, dynamics, and implications for the courts and justice system of various forms of human trafficking;
  • Measurement framework that includes measures and tools for monitoring the impacts of human trafficking case processing in the state courts;
  • Summary of changes in federal and state trafficking law, policy, and practice that might better serve the interests of the state courts;
  • A human trafficking and the state courts web-based resource network and clearinghouse for judges and court personnel;
  • A best practices toolkit for jurisdictions interested in establishing a specialized prostitution/trafficking court;
  • A series of bench cards targeting human trafficking-related issues;
  • Best practice guidelines;
  • Model planning and technical assistance process and supporting materials;
  • Training on human trafficking via 12 courses for judges;
  • Intensive technical assistance in six jurisdictions, and proven nationally applicable technical assistance approaches; and
  • Published articles in various court periodicals about the project and the issue in general.

In April 2013, theNational Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) and Legal Momentum/National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) officially joined the Collaborative. NAWJ has made human trafficking a priority over the past 2 years, and with SJI support, has been able to offer educational programming to their membership on this critical issue. With a recent SJI grant (SJI-13-E-090), NJEP will add a module on human trafficking to it popular course, Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse: Adjudicating This Hidden Dimension of Domestic Violence Cases. This web course has proved to be highly successful, and is available free of charge at www.njep-ipsacourse.org.