Sex Trafficking Cases Involving Children

Sex Trafficking Cases Involving Minors by Kimberly J. Mitchell, David Finkelhor, and Janis Wolak, University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center.

This bulletin summarizes findings from the National Juvenile Prostitution Study (N‐JPS). It  describes the prevalence and types of sex trafficking cases that ended in arrests or detentions by U.S. law enforcement agencies in 2005 and explores the characteristics of youth involved in sex trafficking, the characteristics of the cases themselves, and how police view these juveniles—as victims or as delinquents. The bulletin also covers policy and practice implications and recommends several next steps for advancing the handling of these cases. Some findings include the following:
• There were an estimated 1,450 arrests and detentions for sex trafficking crimes involving youth in the United States in 2005.
• Sex trafficking cases involving minors fell into three groups: (1) Third‐party exploiter cases, (2) Solo juvenile cases, and (3) Child sexual abuse cases involving payment.
• Police treated 69% of juveniles as victims and 31% as delinquents.
• Findings indicate a strong relationship between a case originating with an outside report to police andthe juvenile being treated as a victim.
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