Criminal Justice News

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Attorney General Lynch Announces $44 Million in Grant Funding to Combat Human Trafficking and Support Survivors

As part of her commitment to combat human trafficking, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced more than $44 million in grant funding to combat human trafficking during her remarks today in Seattle, Washington, to the Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking.  Seattle is one of 16 sites selected for an anti-trafficking task force award, receiving $1.5 million to support law enforcement efforts and victim services for the next three years.

“Human traffickers prey on some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and their crimes – which are nothing short of modern-day slavery – have no place in this country,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “These grants – administered by the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the National Institute of Justice – will fund efforts across the country to fight human trafficking, to provide services for survivors and to expand research going forward.”

The grant awards include the following:

    More than $22.7 million to support 16 anti-human trafficking task forces across the country. Within each task force location, BJA will make one award to a lead law enforcement agency and OVC will make one to the lead victim service provider.  The grantees will work collaboratively with other key members of the task force, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, local prosecutor’s office, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and community and system-based service providers.  The task forces are listed at:

    $1 million to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. to conduct a comprehensive analysis of task force training and technical assistance needs to strengthen the capacity to investigate and prosecute human trafficking.

    More than $8.1 million to 12 victim service organizations to provide comprehensive services to any human trafficking victim identified within the target geographic region.

    More than $5.6 million to ten grantees to provide specialized services for victims of human trafficking, including programs that are culturally, linguistically and developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed, as well as services for underserved victims such as American Indians, Alaska Natives and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ).

    Nearly $1 million total to two organizations to provide national training and technical assistance on comprehensive legal services for trafficking victims.  The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking will build legal service providers’ and pro bono attorneys’ capacity to serve foreign national and U.S. citizen trafficking victims and the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education will provide attorneys who represent trafficking survivors with specialized training and assistance in criminal history expungement.

    Nearly $477,000 to the National Conference of State Legislators to develop resources on human trafficking, including an online database of human trafficking state laws, web page, webinar and human trafficking briefing papers.

    More than $3.5 million to address knowledge gaps related to trafficking in persons, expand upon existing research and evaluation efforts and inform evidence-based practices for state, local and tribal criminal justice agencies.

    More than $1 million to three organizations to provide mentoring services for young victims of human trafficking, including additional training and technical assistance for organizations that provide specialized support services for youth victims.

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