Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)
The Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (WAHTTF) is designed to improve victim-centered and trauma-informed responses and investigations in all 72 Wisconsin (WI) counties with a focus on improving capacity in the 46 rural and 25 smallest counties outside of the metropolitan Milwaukee area. 83% of all persons in WI reside in these largely rural 71 counties with scattered metropolitan areas. The focus area will be divided into four regions: the Northwest Region (32 counties and 78% rural), the Northeast Region (16 counties and 62.5% rural), the Southwest Region (12 counties and 58.4% rural), and the Southeast Region (11 counties and 64% urban). The area is home to 64,100 farms on 14.2 million acres, 17 major ports of entry on the Great Lakes, 1148 working mines, and toll-free interstate highways connecting Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois.
This project strengthens the statewide response to labor trafficking through partnership with a non-federal government private foundation to build a Labor Trafficking (LT) Multidisciplinary Team, leveraging those non-federal resources to create an LT victim services network and joint WAHTTF/LT MDT subcommittee. Project Respect, a project of ARC Community Services, Inc., is the lead victim service applicant. Project Respect’s subrecipients include Family Support Services, United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), Convergence Resource Center, Family Advocates, Inc., and American Indians Against Abuse (AIAA). Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is the lead law enforcement.
WAHTTF was previously funded in FY2020 under Purpose Area 1 and served 12 labor trafficking (LT) and 85 sex trafficking (ST) victims in 2020-21; 5 LT, 110 ST victims in 2021-2022; and, from 03/01/2022 to present, 10 LT, 61 ST victims. DCI opened 1 LT and 17 ST investigations in 2020-2021; 3 LT, 11 ST in 2021-2022; and 1 ST from 10/2022 – 12/2022. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of WI opened 9 ST cases and 0 LT cases in 2020; 6 ST, 3 LT in 2021; 6 ST, 1 LT in 2022; and 2 ST from 01/2023 to present. USAO for the Western District opened 5 ST and LT cases and prosecuted 6 cases from 10/2020 to present.