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Legal Responses to Trafficking Evaluability: Assessments of Five Programs

NCJ Number
Rachel Swaner; Elise White; Kathleen Krieger; Rebecca Pfeffer; Camille Gourdet; Jennifer Hardison Walters; Samantha Charm
Date Published
April 2021
93 pages

The findings and methodology are reported for evaluability assessments of five programs that serve victims of sex trafficking involved in criminal justice processing, with a focus on arrest (police), prosecution (district attorney), and sentencing court).


An evaluability assessment examines whether a full program evaluation is justified, feasible, and likely to provide useful information. The findings of the current evaluability assessment are viewed as a first step toward future research that assesses the effectiveness of these or similar programs for sex-trafficking victims. The five programs were chosen because they have a common understanding of defendants who may have engaged in commercial sex, whether or not they were arrested on prostitution charges. Such defendants are viewed by these programs as having traumatic experiences that require a fair and respectful court process and support services that will help them rebuild their lives and prevent future exploitation. The features of each of the five programs are outlined, and their similarities and differences are noted. The methodology of the evaluability assessments was for the research team to visit each of the sites between August 2019 and February 2020. The visits included a logic modeling session with key program staff and stakeholders, semi-structured interviews, program observation, and document review. The body of this report includes each of the five evaluability assessments as separate chapters. Each of the assessments includes a brief review of local context; a description of the program model, including eligibility, criteria, activities, desired outcomes, and underlying assumptions; a summary of key evaluability domains; suggestions for a future evaluation design; and the program logic model. 66 references