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Anti-trafficking Laws and Arrest Trends in Illinois

NCJ Number
Jessica Reichert
Date Published
November 2013
8 pages
This bulletin examines Illinois arrest trends by year and region in order to gauge the level of law enforcement response to trafficking and prostitution-related crimes between 2000 and 2011.
In 2013, all 50 States had sex-trafficking statutes. The Polaris Project, which works to end human trafficking and serves victims of slavery and human trafficking, ranked the States based on 10 categories of ant-trafficking laws. Illinois is one of 32 States with the highest ranking, having multiple anti-trafficking laws. Ten females and 23 males have been arrested under the Trafficking of Persons and Involuntary Servitude Act since its passing in 2006. Of the 4 regions of Illinois examined for this bulletin, Cook County (excluding Chicago) had the highest percentage of trafficking arrests in Illinois from 2006 to 2011 at 45 percent (n=15), followed by Chicago at 42 percent (n=14). The number of trafficking-related arrests increased from no arrests in 2007 to 15 arrests reported in 2011, the year that the Trafficking of Persons and Involuntary Servitude Act was passed. The following offenses were categorized as prostitution-related offenses rather than trafficking offenses: prostitution, solicitation of a sex act, promoting prostitution, promoting juvenile prostitution, patronizing a prostitute, and patronizing a minor engaged in prostitution; however when prostitution is forced or coerced by a trafficker, it could be trafficking-related. A total of 1,871 arrests for prostitution were reported in Illinois in 2011. Nearly 60 percent of the arrests for prostitution occurred in Chicago (n=1,112). Another way to gauge the extent of trafficking in Illinois is by tracking the number of calls to trafficking hotlines, which are not publicized in Illinois. In 2012, Illinois received 520 calls on the trafficking hotline. Of these, 66 were for a crisis situation, and 67 were for referrals; 31 calls were from suspected victims of human trafficking. 5 figures and 2 tables