RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, will provide training and technical assistance with the $1.1 million grant
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) within the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, a $1.1 million dollar grant to provide training and technical assistance to grantees in nine states working to combat human trafficking. Programs in four additional states — Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oregon — will now be receiving assistance as newly funded grantees in fiscal year 2020.
"Human trafficking is a complex issue that has gained significant attention over the past decade, particularly around trafficking of children for sex or labor,” said Merissa Gremminger, project director and researcher at RTI. “We are grateful for the opportunity to lend RTI’s expertise in training and technical assistance delivery to OVC’s Improving Outcomes grantees so they can implement customized strategies to enhance their efforts to address youth trafficking.”
The OVC grant will allow the four newly funded grantees to focus on issues that are integral to the success of their efforts:
- In Maryland, the grant’s objectives are to create a statewide labor trafficking multidisciplinary team, which will formalize and institutionalize the response to survivors in a victim-centered manner; develop a unified strategy to provide training for professionals throughout the state, including law enforcement officers, medical providers, mental health professionals and juvenile justice personnel; provide training and technical assistance for Maryland’s Child Advocacy Centers; and establish a coordinated service response for human trafficking victims.
- In Massachusetts, the grant will focus on strengthening law enforcement coordination around trafficking investigations and support for victims during the criminal justice process, increasing the capacity and availability of home-based placements for child and youth victims, and collaborating with county multidisciplinary teams to better facilitate multijurisdictional efforts.
- In Minnesota, the grant will support the development and implementation of labor trafficking protocols in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s state Human Trafficking Investigative Task Force; standardize identification of potential victims of sex and labor trafficking statewide; and partner with tribal nations located in Minnesota on two fronts.
- In Oregon, the grant will focus on developing protocols for local task forces to identify best practices in identification and response to child and youth victims of sex trafficking and encourage cross-communication between jurisdictions; support implementation of protocols within local task forces through technical assistance; strengthen data collection across systems to collect consistent, meaningful data; support law enforcement statewide to increase capacity for human trafficking investigations in victim-centered and trauma-informed way.
The five states that have been grantees in the past and will continue receiving assistance in fiscal year 2020 are California, Colorado, Ohio, Alabama and Louisiana.
To learn more, visit: https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/humantrafficking/.