Start Date

11-9-2017 10:30 AM

Keywords

human trafficking, criminal justice, modern-day slavery, sex trafficking, prisons

Abstract

Women are being actively targeted for the sex trafficking trade within US prisons and are recruited by a network of fellow inmates who are given "finders fees" for supplying victims. In prisons from Florida to North Carolina, Ohio to Massachusetts, women are promised housing and food in exchange for work upon release but instead are deceived and prostituted for the human trafficking trade. Some traffickers stalk their victims through public-access profiles from statewide prison websites, then groom them over months through correspondence and phone calls.

Inside the largest women’s prison in the United States, the Florida Lowell Correctional Institution, officers have uncovered evidence of debt bondage, fraud, and deception to recruit victims but feel unable to stop the exploitation amounting to modern-day slavery.

Combating human trafficking remains a top priority for the US government, yet victims are being cherry-picked from its state prisons and county jails under the watch of local authorities. Perpetrators prey on vulnerable women who may be jobless, homeless, or suffering from drug addiction upon release; they use the bond system, money, and psychological manipulation to lure them. Trafficked women are also failing to be identified by state authorities when arrested for other crimes they are forced to commit — such as prostitution or acting as drug mules — and are instead incarcerated without help if arrested.

Extreme violence is commonplace toward trafficking victims — many suffer rape and abuse by their traffickers — but their imprisonment means they fail to receive the protection afforded to human trafficking victims under national and international law.

This presentation will present the findings from an 18-month research project and journalism investigation supported by the international newspaper The Guardian. With extensive primary research, it interrogates the power structures and systemic failures to protect the most vulnerable through the double victimization of human trafficking and incarceration.

 
Nov 9th, 10:30 AM

Out of the Prison and Onto the Streets: The Trafficking of Incarcerated Women (a Trans-Disciplinary Media Research Project)

Women are being actively targeted for the sex trafficking trade within US prisons and are recruited by a network of fellow inmates who are given "finders fees" for supplying victims. In prisons from Florida to North Carolina, Ohio to Massachusetts, women are promised housing and food in exchange for work upon release but instead are deceived and prostituted for the human trafficking trade. Some traffickers stalk their victims through public-access profiles from statewide prison websites, then groom them over months through correspondence and phone calls.

Inside the largest women’s prison in the United States, the Florida Lowell Correctional Institution, officers have uncovered evidence of debt bondage, fraud, and deception to recruit victims but feel unable to stop the exploitation amounting to modern-day slavery.

Combating human trafficking remains a top priority for the US government, yet victims are being cherry-picked from its state prisons and county jails under the watch of local authorities. Perpetrators prey on vulnerable women who may be jobless, homeless, or suffering from drug addiction upon release; they use the bond system, money, and psychological manipulation to lure them. Trafficked women are also failing to be identified by state authorities when arrested for other crimes they are forced to commit — such as prostitution or acting as drug mules — and are instead incarcerated without help if arrested.

Extreme violence is commonplace toward trafficking victims — many suffer rape and abuse by their traffickers — but their imprisonment means they fail to receive the protection afforded to human trafficking victims under national and international law.

This presentation will present the findings from an 18-month research project and journalism investigation supported by the international newspaper The Guardian. With extensive primary research, it interrogates the power structures and systemic failures to protect the most vulnerable through the double victimization of human trafficking and incarceration.