Human Trafficking in Ohio

Markets, Responses, and Considerations

by Jeremy M. Wilson, Erin Dalton

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Abstract

Human trafficking has garnered a significant and growing amount of attention from the U.S. government since the 1990s, culminating in the passage of the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000. There is also a growing body of research on human trafficking, but most of it has focused on trying to show that human trafficking is a problem. Wilson and Dalton explore the extent and characteristics of concrete cases of human trafficking in Columbus and Toledo, Ohio, as well as the awareness of and response to the problem by the justice systems and social service provider communities in the two cities. The authors summarize their content analysis of newspaper accounts as well as key respondent interviews that they conducted with criminal justice officials and social service providers in each site. These identified several cases of juvenile sex trafficking and forced prostitution in Toledo, as well as a smaller trafficking market centered on the forced labor of noncitizens in Columbus. Wilson and Dalton compare the two cities’ considerably different responses to human trafficking, and conclude with suggestions on how to raise awareness about human trafficking and improve the responses of the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice system, and social services to the problem.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The Human-Trafficking Markets in Columbus and Toledo

  • Chapter Three

    Justice System Response

  • Chapter Four

    Service Provider and Community Responses

  • Chapter Five

    Key Policy Considerations

  • Appendix A

    Background Information on Case Study Sites

  • Appendix B

    Content Analysis References

  • Appendix C

    Fact Patterns of Concrete Human-Trafficking Cases

  • Appendix D

    Constructive Cases for Understanding and Responding to Human Trafficking

The research described in this report was supported by a grant awarded by the Office of Justice Programs, through the State of Ohio, Office of Criminal Justice Services, in a grant provided to the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and was conducted under the auspices of the Safety and Justice Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE).

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