Sex Trafficking of Minors: The Impact of Legislative Reform and Judicial Decision Making in Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Communities, Kentucky, 2007-2018

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, aggregate data, survey data
  • Cole, Jennifer
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Publication Place
Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Free Keywords
Schema: ICPSR
abused children; judges; juvenile justice; juvenile victims; legislative impact; metropolitan areas; prostitution; rural areas; sex trafficking; social services; status offenses
  • Abstract

    These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed. This study includes data that was used to investigate the effect of legislative and judicial factors on system responses to sex trafficking of minors (STM) in metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities. To accomplish this, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the immunity, protection, and rehabilitative elements of a state safe harbor law. This project was undertaken as a response to a growing push to pass state safe harbor laws to align governmental and community responses to the reframing of the issue of sex trafficking of minors that was ushered in with the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This collection includes 4 SPSS files, 3 Excel data files, and 2 SPSS Syntax files: Child-Welfare-Human-Trafficking-Reports-2013-2017-data.xlsx; Judicial-Interview-De-identified-Quantitative-Data-for-NACJD_REV_Oct2018.sav (n=82; 36 variables); Judicial-online-survey-data-for-NACJD_REV_Dec2018.sav (n=55; 77 variables); Juvenile-Justice-Screening-for-HT-2015-MU-MU-0009.xlsx; Post-implementation-survey-data-for-NACJD_REV_Dec2018.sav (n=365; 1029 variables); Pre-implementation-survey-data-for-NACJD_REV_Dec2018.sav (n=323; 159 variables); Recode-syntax-for-pre-implementation-survey-for-NACJD.sps; Statewide-juvenile-court-charges-2015-MU-MU-0009-to-NACJD.xlsx; Syntax-for-post-implementation-survey-data-to-NACJD.sps; Qualitative data from judicial interviews and agency open-ended responses to Post-Implementation of the Safe Harbor Law Survey are not available as part of this collection.
  • Abstract

    This project has four aims: To evaluate changes in key agency personnel's awareness, knowledge, and capacity for responding to sex trafficking of minors (STM), including trends in charges of human trafficking offenses involving victims who are minors, from pre-implementation to post-implementation of a safe harbor law in one jurisdictional condition.; To examine the impact of immunity, protective, and rehabilitative provisions of a safe harbor law.; To provide guidance on how juvenile and family judges' knowledge and attitudes influence their responses to trafficking victims as witnesses and as defendants in crimes related to their trafficking victimization within metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities.; To identify and disseminate policy, education, and practice strategies that support informed judicial decision-making in family and juvenile court cases involving youth exploited in commercial sex.;
  • Methods

    Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from multiple sources: telephone-administered interviews with 365 professionals who work in agencies that serve-at risk youth and/or crime victims/offenders, including secondary data analysis of interview data collected pre-implementation of the safe harbor law; statewide secondary aggregate data on criminal charges of human trafficking and prostitution of juveniles from 2007-2017; and face-to-face and telephone interviews with 82 family and juvenile court judges, and online surveys with 55 judges, from metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities across the project state and the U.S.
  • Methods

    Child-Welfare-Human-Trafficking-Reports-2013-2017-data.xlsx contains administrative data on the number of alleged cases of human trafficking of children reported to the child welfare agency, including demographics and case dispositions. This data was derived from annual reports published by the child welfare agency as mandated by the Human Trafficking Victims' Rights Act. Judicial-Interview-De-identified-Quantitative-Data-for-NACJD_REV_Oct2018.sav (n=82; 36 variables) includes information on experience the judges have with different types of courts, current caseload, number of cases, whether judges' states have a Safe Harbor Law, and experience adjudicating cases with juveniles that were involved in commercial sex. There are also variables regarding how often judges had information about a juvenile's psychological status, knowledge of innovations other juvenile and family courts have implemented to more successfully identify and respond to juvenile victims of sex trafficking, whether judges have received training on trauma and human trafficking, and interest in receiving additional training on the sex trafficking of minors. Judicial-online-survey-data-for-NACJD_REV_Dec2018.sav (n=55; 77 variables) contains variables related to judges' experience with different types of courts and the type of community in which the judges presided (metropolitan, micropolitan, rural). The judges' opinions were collected on items related to juveniles that have been exploited in commercial sex, such as effectiveness of mental health treatments and other interventions, as well as what actions should be taken with regard to traffickers and buyers/customers. Judges were also asked if sex trafficking of youth happens within their jurisdiction, and if their state has a Safe Harbor Law or equivalent regarding minors exploited in commercial sex. Variables also dealt with if judges had ever asked for a screening or trauma assessment for youth suspected of being involved in commercial sex and how often they had ordered treatment instead of finding such youth guilty of a crime. Judges were asked if they had received training on trauma-informed care or on human trafficking that was tailored to courtroom professionals, and their preferred delivery method of that training. Juvenile-Justice-Screening-for-HT-2015-MU-MU-0009.xlsx contains administrative data from the state juvenile justice system on the number of human trafficking screenings conducted and number of positive screens reported to the child welfare agency. Post-implementation-survey-data-for-NACJD_REV_Dec2018.sav (n=365; 1029 variables) contains information about the type of agency the respondent works at and the respondent's work history, the agency's human trafficking screening, what behaviors respondent considers red flags for sex trafficking of minors (STM), respondent's familiarity with laws related to human trafficking, and agency's protocol regarding STM. The participant was also asked what their agency could do to help respond more effectively to victims of STM and number of definite or suspected victims of STM that they have worked with. Respondents were asked a number of questions about victims of STM that they had worked with, including: gender, citizenship status, race, the relationship of the exploiter to the three most recent victims of STM, the type of STM that the victim was involved in, and the type of community that the victim lived in. Respondent was asked what methods traffickers used to recruit victims, what the most important needs of victims of STM are, what services that their agency could provide to the victims, whether their agency could refer victims to another agency for specific services, which agencies they collaborated with, and what issues they had working with other agencies. Participants were asked about the most common status offenses with which trafficked minors were charged, and the types of legal charges that were filed against traffickers and buyers. Other variables included the amount of time since the participant's last training and whether the trafficking of children in commercial sex was discussed in the training. This dataset also includes a number of computed variables regarding these subjects. Pre-implementation-survey-data-for-NACJD_REV_Dec2018.sav (n=323; 159 variables) includes the type of agency at which the respondent works, respondent's rating of how serious a problem commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is in the state and in metropolitan areas, respondent's familiarity with statutes on human trafficking, the most important aspects of the agencies protocols for responding to minors trafficked in commercial sex, and if applicable the reasons that the agency does not have a protocol for responding to victims of sex trafficking of minors (STM). Respondent was asked to estimate the number of definite or suspected victims of STM that they have worked with, demographic characteristics of the victims, the type of STM that victims were involved in, and whether at least one of the victims had been charged with a public or status offense. Information was collected on what the victims' relationships were to the people that exploited them, the most important need of the victims with which the respondent worked, and whether respondent knew of any criminal charges that were filed against the victim that they worked with, or charges against the trafficker or the buyer. Respondent was asked about training they received and if trafficking of children in commercial sex was discussed in the training, whether their agency had served victims of human trafficking, and if respondent had experience working with definite or suspected victims of STM and the type of STM those victims were involved in. Respondent was also asked about their work experience with their agency, including how long they had worked there and the type of community that the respondent worked in (metropolitan, micropolitan, rural). Statewide-juvenile-court-charges-2015-MU-MU-0009-to-NACJD.xlsx contains aggregate data from the Administrative Office of the Courts on the number of cases in statewide circuit and district courts of human trafficking involving victims under the age of 18, the number of prostitution charges against juvenile offenders for each year from 2007 - 2017, and number of human trafficking screenings completed and number of positive screens of juveniles in juvenile court.
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: Some Likert-type scales were used.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: Not available.
  • Abstract


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2013--2017
  • 2013 / 2017
  • Time period: 2016--2018
  • 2016 / 2018
  • Time period: 2016--2017
  • 2016 / 2017
  • Time period: 2015--2018
  • 2015 / 2018
  • Time period: 2016--2017
  • 2016 / 2017
  • Time period: 2012--2015
  • 2012 / 2015
  • Time period: 2007--2017
  • 2007 / 2017
  • Collection date: 2016-05-26--2018-03-30
  • 2016-05-26 / 2018-03-30
  • Collection date: 2016-06-07--2017-09-18
  • 2016-06-07 / 2017-09-18
  • Collection date: 2016-06-01--2017-08-02
  • 2016-06-01 / 2017-08-02
  • Collection date: 2012-07-20--2015-04-15
  • 2012-07-20 / 2015-04-15
Geographic Coverage
  • Kentucky
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Service providers who work with at-risk youth or crime victims in Kentucky (e.g., juvenile court, juvenile justice, victim services, school, law enforcement), as well as juvenile and family court judges currently presiding in courts in the U.S. Smallest Geographic Unit: None
Pre-implementation key informant surveys: A dual sampling frame was used. First, a purposive sample was created by contacting administrators in key agencies (e.g., juvenile justice, juvenile and family court, child welfare, and public defenders) to secure permission to contact workers within these agencies and to obtain contact information, and by obtaining the names of attendees of Human Trafficking Task Forces throughout the state. Also, online searches were used to obtain contact information for behavioral health providers, agencies that serve at-risk youth, victim support services, school personnel, law enforcement. Second, snowball sampling was used. At the conclusion of each survey, the interviewer asked each respondent to provide the names of other professionals in the community they believed had information on the topic, and these names were added to the sampling frame. Post-implementation key informant surveys: Used the agencies included in the pre-implementation surveys as the basis of the sampling frame. Respondents were also given the opportunity to add the names of professionals in the community who had knowledge of the topic, and these names were added to the sampling frame. Interviews and online surveys with juvenile and family court judges: Juvenile and family court judges were recruited through primary strategies. First, the research team recruited participants at three national conference for judges focused on juvenile and family court in 2016 and 2017. Prior to the conferences, paper invitations were sent in the mail to conference attendees with information about the research project and how to schedule an interview during the conference. During the conferences, the research team had a booth in the main entry to the conference where they introduced themselves and had a sign-up sheet for the interviews. Also, judges were able to nominate other judge colleagues for the project, regardless of whether those judges were present at the conference. Second, the research team contacted judges residing the rural, southern state in which the pre-implementation and post-implementation surveys were conducted. Additionally, online searches were conducted through locating judicial organizations, with particular attention to specific states or regions of the U.S. to ensure a variety of state and regional representation in the sample.
Collection Mode
  • face-to-face interview
  • mixed mode
  • paper and pencil interview (PAPI)
  • telephone interview
  • web-based survey
Funding institution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2015-MU-MU-0009).
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 37168 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)

Update Metadata: 2019-07-25 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2019-07-25