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Identify, Respond, Prevent: Addressing Human Trafficking among Juvenile Justice- and Child Welfare-Involved Youth, Final Technical Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2023
124 pages

This report lays out project goals and objectives regarding the assessment of service provision to victims of human trafficking among juvenile- and child welfare-involved youth; predictive validity of Florida’s human trafficking screening tool; characteristics and predictors of dual system involvement among child victims of human trafficking; predicting initial and repeat victimization among children; child trafficking victimization as a predictor of subsequent juvenile justice involvement; the direct and moderating effects of childhood human trafficking victimization on early adult criminal legal system involvement; study limitations; applicability of research; implications for future research; and conclusions, as well as references and an appendix.


The project that is described in this report was designed to inform the identification of and service provision response to human trafficking among children with child welfare (CW) and juvenile justice (JJ) involvement. The authors had four main objectives for this project: to improve identification of trafficking victimization within the JJ population; to inform response to at-risk and trafficked children in both the CW and JJ systems; to identify children most at risk for initial and subsequent trafficking allegations in both populations; to understand JJ and adult criminal legal system involvement among persons who have had prior human trafficking allegations. The final analysis datasets included all Florida (FL) Department of Children and Families (DCF), FL Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and FL Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) children born on or after January 1, 1993, who had at least one maltreatment allegation before February 29, 2020. The authors provide details on their methodology, data assessment, and findings which showed that human trafficking victimization is a risk factor associated with sustained involvement in the criminal legal system. The authors also note that their findings can contribute to future research aimed at investigating how negative or traumatic childhood experience, JJ and CW system contact, and delinquency interact to affect the risk of adult criminality and Criminal Legal System (CLS) involvement among human trafficking victims.

Date Published: December 1, 2023