Criminal Justice News

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Reports on Helping Young Human Trafficking Victims, Elder Abuse Forensic Center, and Children Exposed to Family Violence



Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, the National Institute of Justice has made available the following final technical reports, which are the result of NIJ-funded projects but were not published by the U.S. Department of Justice:

             Evaluation of Services for Domestic Minor Victims of Human Trafficking reports on a participatory process evaluation of three programs funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime to identify and provide services to victims of sex and labor trafficking who are U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents under age 18. The evaluation described young people served by the programs, their service needs, services delivered by the programs, the experiences of young people and staff with the programs, and programs' efforts to strengthen community response to trafficked youth. The programs demonstrated success in connecting to some young people, but they struggled to reach others. While a community response to trafficking necessarily includes all victims, it is unlikely that any single program can meet the needs of all minor victims. The preliminary experience of these three programs suggests that the full range of promising strategies is yet to be defined. To read the report, see https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/248578.pdf.

             Evaluating the Cost Effectiveness of the Elder Abuse Forensic Center Model reports on research focused on identifying costs required to process an elder abuse case, as well as outcomes attained by the elder abuse forensic center (EAFC), a model to address the most complex cases of abuse and brings together diverse professionals from a variety of fields within the justice system, health care, protective services and mental health. The authors looked at case files from the Los Angeles County EAFC to analyze data on time and labor spent processing cases and achieving outcomes. The results indicate the EAFC model incurs greater case processing costs but yields large incremental differences in intermediate outcomes compared to usual care, including the proportion of cases that are granted conservatorship, submitted to the public guardian, or successfully prosecuted. To read the report, go to https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/248556.pdf.

             A National Profile of Children Exposed to Family Violence: Police Response, Family Response, and Individual Impact Child provides the first nationally representative data on youth contact with law enforcement and victim services - including best practices and help-seeking obstacles - for cases of family violence involving exposure to children. Witnesses to family violence are a highly victimized group, and it is recommended that they systematically receive assessment and services when any member of their family enters the system due to family violence. The data gathered in this study suggest that disruption in a child's routine can be particularly troubling when youth are exposed to violence between other family members. These data also support the slow shift toward focusing on intervening with perpetrators instead of victims. Some of the most important findings of this study are the benefits to children when perpetrators leave the home instead of victims, the possible benefits of minimizing disruptions to children's school routines, and the need for police to respond directly to children. Youth generally had a positive response to police interactions when they occurred, although among cases involving older youth, only one in four youth said the police spoke directly to them. To read the report, go to https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/248577.pdf.

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