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New Guide to Addressing Human Trafficking and the State Courts

An electronic version of the National Association for Court Management (NACM) Guide to Addressing Human Trafficking in the State Courts is now available online. The HT Guide was produced by the Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative, an initiative funded by SJI. The release of the downloadable, 11-chapter, electronic version of the HT Guide follows the mid-July mailing of the hard copy version to the entire NACM membership. A limited number of hard copies of the HT Guide are still available. Please contact Dr. David Price for information about obtaining a hard copy.

The HT Guide provides state court practitioners a comprehensive resource that:

  • clarifies the types and dynamics of sex and labor trafficking involving U.S. citizens and foreign nationals;
  • identifies how traffickers and victims may appear in different types of state court cases, including criminal, family, juvenile, child protection, ordinance violation, and civil cases;
  • provides tools and guidelines to help courts identify and process cases where trafficking is involved; and,
  • links to other resources to assist courts in addressing trafficking-related problems.

Furthermore, the HT Guide has been prepared to support the courts not only in their traditional role as independent adjudicators, but also as justice system and community leaders. Even though state court judges and staff are the primary audience for the HT Guide, numerous other groups concerned about human trafficking – such as health and human service organizations, law enforcement agencies, and victim advocates – will find the HT Guide valuable. The HT Guide authors include court practitioners as well as leading experts knowledgeable about the types, dynamics, and implications of modern day slavery.

The HT Guide was released by the HT Collaborative in partnership with NACM. Its origins date back to early 2013 when SJI provided initial funding to form the Collaborative to address the impact of human trafficking and the state courts. The Collaborative initially included the Center for Public Policy Studies (CPPS), the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) and the National Judicial College (NJC). Since then, the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), Legal Momentum, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) have joined the Collaborative, and all six organizations are now working to address the following strategic priorities:

  • increase understanding and awareness about the challenges faced by state courts in dealing with cases involving trafficking victims and their families;
  • develop and test state and local approaches for assessing and addressing the impact of human trafficking victims and defendants in the state courts;
  • improve court services affected by human trafficking-related case processing demands; and,
  • build effective national, state, and local partnerships for addressing the impacts of human trafficking case processing in the state courts.

For the latest updates from the Collaborative, visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages