- Cook County (Chicago)
- Northern District of Illinois
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $750,000)
Task Force Name: Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force (“TF”)
Geographic area: Cook County, Illinois and USAO Northern District of Illinois
Law enforcement applicant: The Cook County State’s Attorney Office (SAO)
Victim service applicant: The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT Program
Through this funding, the SAO, STOP-IT, and the USAO will continue to work in Cook County and Northern IL to support a sustainable, long-term, multidisciplinary task force approach to combat human trafficking. The TF will : 1) sustain and strengthen effective TF leadership, structure and coordination of multidisciplinary human trafficking task force partnerships and activities; 2) identify and serve victims of all types of human trafficking; 3) implement victim-centered, trauma-informed, and collaborative approaches through development and consistent implementation of task force protocols and training; 4) active involvement from all task force partners in planning and executing proactive investigations and prosecutions; 5) investigate, refer, and prosecute both sex and labor trafficking cases at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels; 6) assist all trafficking victims in achieving increased safety, independence, self-sufficiency and well-being through the provision of appropriate services; and 7) collect data and conduct ongoing assessment to determine if the program is meeting goals and objectives.
The TF is led by an experienced core team, supported by a law enforcement working group, and the victim services, training, labor trafficking, healthcare, LGBTQ, and GATE (survivor leader) subcommittees. The TF has made progress on identifying victims, investigating and prosecuting perpetrators, and providing high-quality services. This funding will allow the TF to firmly establish the GATE subcommittee. The TF plans to review and update TF processes, protocols, trainings, services and the number of proactive investigations during the next project period. The TF will also seek to formalize participation of community members interested in addressing human trafficking.