Joint Federal Human Trafficking Task Forces Meeting to be held January 15, 2015
Montgomery, Alabama - United States Attorney George L. Beck, Jr., will join with members of the Middle District of Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, the Northern District of Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Southern District of Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force for a meeting tomorrow, January 15, 2015. The purpose of the meeting is to unite federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, prosecutors and victim service providers to discuss investigation strategies and victim resources, and to implement a state-wide protocol in an effort to combat human trafficking.
Human trafficking is recognized as “a modern-day form of slavery” and “is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Human trafficking often takes one of two forms – labor or sex trafficking. Labor trafficking may include forced labor or debt bondage, where a victim continually works to pay off an undefined and seemingly endless debt. Sex trafficking includes forcing victims to perform sexual acts, performances, or prostitution, or subjecting them to sexual abuse or torture. Victims may be subject to inhumane conditions and may be afraid to seek help due to language barriers, immigration status, or fear of the trafficker. Both Federal and Alabama law criminalize human trafficking, with penalties including significant prison time, large fines, and mandatory restitution.
“January is Human Trafficking Prevention month, and I am pleased that we can gather together for meaningful discussions and training on this vital subject,” stated U.S. Attorney George Beck Jr. from the Middle District of Alabama. “It is critical that citizens and law enforcement be more proactive and take every opportunity to learn how to recognize the signs of a terrible crime that results in the abuse, intimidation, and enslavement of women and children.”
The mission of the Middle District of Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force is “To Find and Free” victims of human trafficking. The Task Force began its work in 2009, initiated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama, and thereafter partnered with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
The Task Force consists of federal, state, and local partners within the River Region and from the 23 counties which comprise the Middle District of Alabama. In addition to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, the Task Force partners include: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Homeland Security Investigations of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Alabama Fusion Center (which is a division of ALEA), the Montgomery Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, One Place Family Justice Center, Legal Services Alabama, the Family Sunshine Center, the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Stella’s Voice, SABRA Sanctuary of Selma, the Alabama Department of Youth Services, the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, the Alabama Department of Education, survivors of human trafficking, college students, and local college chapters of International Justice Mission.
The meeting on Thursday will include training and a law enforcement case study. Members of law enforcement, victim service providers, and service organizations are invited to attend.
For more information, please contact Assistant United States Attorney Jerusha T. Adams at 334-223-7280 or Montgomery County Deputy District Attorney Carrie G. Shaw at 334-262-7378.
PRESS CONTACT: Clark Morris
Telephone: (334) 551-1755
Fax: (334) 223-7617