Donya D. Mills


Presentation: 3:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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This research explores the current sex trafficking laws in the United States. Sex trafficking is a current form of modern slavery because people engage in sexual activity by force, coericon or fraud. To combat this issue the federal law Trafficking Victims Protection Act was created to prevent and protect victims while prosecuting sex traffickers. The safe harbor law was also created which protects minors from being treated as criminals by the criminal justice system. The problem is that the law differs from state to state. The current study examined how states having different interpretation of sex trafficking laws can make it difficult to address what sex trafficking is and the services that come with them. The design of this study addresses the Trafficking Victims Protection act and safe harbor laws in states while comparing them to the federal law. The sample is of the laws and legal framework of sex trafficking laws. The results showed that some Trafficking Victims Protection act need to be more detailed because some states deal with sex trafficking at a higher rate then other states and it makes it easier to prosecute offenders when the law is worded differently. The results demonstrated that the safe harbor law is not a federal law so it is only in 36 of the 50 states. The safe harbor law was essentially the same in all of the states my research addressed. However, in all of the state's research and federal laws both the specialized services that are included in the laws differ from state to state based on the funding provided.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Susybel R. Kallsen

Primary Advisor's Department

Criminal Justice and Security Studies


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

A Comparative Analysis of Federal and State Sex Trafficking Laws and Legal Framework