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Writing it Right: Documenting Human Trafficking

Event Dates

One specific responsibility of law enforcement and prosecutors working on human trafficking cases is to write various reports, affidavits, and briefs that effectively document incidents of sex and labor trafficking. It is crucial for these documents to accurately reflect complex trafficking dynamics and case-specific facts to establish probable cause and effectively litigate issues at trial.

When law enforcement and prosecutors collaborate with others, including those with lived experience, they are better equipped to successfully articulate how traffickers use a variety of overt and subtle tactics to exploit victims—thus establishing the element(s) of force, fraud, and/or coercion necessary for cases involving adult victims.

This presentation will focus on the core competencies needed by law enforcement and prosecutors to establish elements of human trafficking. Additionally, facilitators will discuss the necessity of protecting victim privacy and ensuring that public records and press releases accurately describe trafficking dynamics.

In combination with other messaging done by the Enhanced Collaborative Model (ECM) Task Forces to Combat Human Trafficking, this documentation can help educate the public—and potential jurors—about the realities of trafficking. This webinar is open to law enforcement, prosecutors, victim service providers, and other members of DOJ-funded ECM task forces. Law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim service providers who are not members of an ECM task force are also invited to attend.

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be better able to—

  • effectively document traffickers’ actions to establish the elements of force, fraud, or coercion;
  • articulate the realities of human trafficking when communicating with the media and the public; and
  • ethically protect victim and witness safety in the public record.

Presented by:

  • Alicia Alcaraz, Project Assistant, IACP (Moderator)
  • Jane Anderson, Attorney Advisor, AEquitas
  • Joseph Scaramucci, Detective, McLennan County Sheriff’s Office

This webinar is produced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police under Cooperative Agreement #2020-VT-BX-K002, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Date Created: October 6, 2021