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Maximizing Justice: Building a Prosecution Review Process

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This report developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and AEquitas assists multidisciplinary anti-human trafficking task forces in developing a process for working with local, state, and federal prosecutors in conducting case reviews and referrals for both state and federal prosecutions.


Stakeholders are guided in the evaluation of federal and state criminal justice systems so they can make informed decisions about the most effective route for prosecution based on an analysis of each legal system’s statutes, policies, and procedures. Instruction and resources are provided for six steps in this process. The first step is to identify relevant state and federal human trafficking statutes. Online access is provided for the federal statutes on sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and protection for trafficking victims. The second step is to analyze state and federal statutes on human trafficking. Materials are provided for the statutory analysis of sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and penalties at the state and federal levels. The third step is to consider charging strategies. This involves the identification of specific crimes within the entire criminal enterprise, whether there are crimes that can only be charged in a federal or a state court, and analysis of elements of commonly charged co-occurring crimes. The fourth step is to compare criminal justice systems on differences in the training and experience of the judiciary and the advantages and disadvantages of state and federal justice systems. The fifth step is to consider additional contextual factors, such as the complexity of the case, financial resources of the office, and caseload of prosecutors. The sixth step is to evaluate the elements of the previous five steps in making charging decisions that will provide the highest level of justice for all parties in the case.