Evaluation and Dissemination of a Screening Tool to Improve the Identification of Trafficking Victims in the United States, 2012-2013 (ICPSR 34989)

Principal Investigator(s): Simich, Laura, Vera institute of Justice

Summary:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they there received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except of the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompany readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collections and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

Validation data (Human Trafficking Data, n = 180) was collected through 180 structured interviews with victim service provider clients who responded to the screening tool. The screening tool was administered by the victim service providers at regular intakes or subsequent interview sessions between July 2012 and June 2013. Service providers were instructed to invite any potential trafficking victims, that is persons who may have been trafficked or subject to similar crimes, whom they judge to be emotionally stable enough to participate. Status as a trafficking victim did not have to be determined in advance of the interview, since a mix of trafficked and non-trafficked clients in the study sample was necessary to establish the validity and predictive ability of the screening tool.

Researchers also conducted confidential case file reviews during site visits at partner agencies, and in-depth interviews with service providers (n = 12 from 11 agencies), clients (n = 7 from 6 agencies) and key informant interviews (n = 12) with law enforcement officers, prosecutors and probation officers.

Access Notes

  • 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.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

Dataset(s)

Dataset
Download:
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

Simich, Laura. Evaluation and Dissemination of a Screening Tool to Improve the Identification of Trafficking Victims in the United States, 2012-2013. ICPSR34989-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-09-26. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34989.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34989.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2011-MU-MU-0066)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    exploitation, human trafficking, labor (work), sex trafficking, victimization

Smallest Geographic Unit:    None

Geographic Coverage:    California, Colorado, New York (state), Texas, United States, Washington

Time Period:   

  • 2012--2013

Date of Collection:   

  • 2012-07--2013-06

Unit of Observation:    Individual

Universe:    All potential victims of human trafficking serviced by twelve service organizations in the United States, those twelve service providers who work with potential victims of human trafficking and law enforcement agencies in 2012 and 2013.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they there received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except of the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompany readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collections and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

The Narrative Answers data, string variables collected in conjunction with the Human Trafficking quantitative data file, are not currently available as part of this data collection.

Qualitative data from in-depth interviews with service providers, trafficking victims, and law enforcement are not currently available as part of this data collection.

The case review data were not submitted to the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) for archiving or dissemination and will not be available as part of this data collection.

Methodology

Study Purpose:    The purpose of the study was to field test and validate a comprehensive screening tool intended to improve the identification of victims of human trafficking, victim services and law enforcement efforts on a nation-wide scale.

Study Design:   

Validation data (Human Trafficking Data, n = 180) was collected through 180 structured interviews with victim service provider clients who responded to the screening tool. The screening tool was administered by the victim service providers at regular intakes or subsequent interview sessions. The period of tool administration differed from each agency due to variations in intake procedures, organizational capacity, and date of entry into the study, but partner agencies administered the tools with clients for anywhere from two to eight months beginning in July 2012 and ending in June 2013. Service provide partners were also allowed discretion in timing the administration of the tool according to client receptiveness.

The screening tool generally required 40 to 60 minutes to administer. Study participants were given a gift card for twenty dollars as a token of appreciation for their time and effort. The completed questionnaires were stored in a secure place not accessible to other agency staff and returned as promptly as possible to the researcher's offices for data entry in password protected databases.

Researchers conducted confidential case file reviews during site visits at partner agencies. Neither personal identifying information nor case status information was included in the files provided to the researchers. The information from the administrative files was applied to the screening tool and researchers assessed the likelihood of human trafficking based on the information extracted from these case files. After the case file reviews, the documented outcomes for cases whose files were reviewed were provided to the researchers.

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with service providers (n = 12 from 11 agencies) and clients (n = 7 from 6 agencies). Key informant interviews (n = 12) with law enforcement officers, prosecutors and probation officers were also conducted. Informed consent and confidentiality procedures were followed and the interviews were audiotaped for transcription.

Sample:   

To validate the human trafficking screening tool (Human Trafficking Data, n = 180), researchers chose a purposive sample selection strategy and instructed interviewers within each of 12 local, regional, and national partner organizations to invite study participants accorder to criterion sampling. Service providers were allowed leeway in recruiting study participants. They were instructed to invite any potential trafficking victims, that is persons who may have been trafficked or subject to similar crimes, whom they judge to be emotionally stable enough to participate. Status as a trafficking victim did not have to be determined in advance of the interview, since a mix of trafficked and non-trafficked clients in the study sample was necessary to establish the validity and predictive ability of the screening tool.

For the case file reviews, service provider partners redacted identifying information and final outcomes from case files and provided researchers cases in the following categories: (1) certified victims of trafficking, (2) identified trafficking victims lacking certification, and (3) victims of related or similar, but non-trafficking crimes.

In-depth interviews were conducted with a subset of survivor clients who had been interviewed using the screening tool. After a client was interviewed using the screening tool, she or he was invited to participate in a follow-up interview with a researcher. If the client agreed to participate in a follow-up interview, the service provided scheduled an appointment for the client to meet with a researcher during a site visit, or if the interview could not be arranged at that time, individuals were interviewed by phone once privacy was assured.

Key informants were identified as knowledgeable experts in human trafficking from various sources, including professional conferences, web sites, or recommendations from other law enforcement personnel or service providers.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Weight:    None

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview, paper and pencil interview (PAPI), telephone interview

Description of Variables:    The data file (Human Trafficking Data, n = 180, 125 variables) includes type of victim (trafficking, sex trafficking, labor trafficking, other) and respondent demographics (sex, age, legal status, language, number of children, number of siblings, highest level of education, and country of birth). Other variables ask why the respondent left their previous country, when the respondent came to the United States, the cost associated with the migration and how the respondent pay for the migration. Additional variables ask if the respondent was ever made to sign a document she did not understand, work someplace different than promised, threatened harm or made to feel she could not leave the place she worked or lived. Other variables ask if the respondent was forced to have unwanted contact with a person, have sex for things of value, or have photos posted on the internet. Finally, the respondent was asked if she had access to enough food, able to get enough sleep, if anyone the respondent worked or lived with controlled when the respondent could sleep, if the respondent felt under constant strain, feeling unhappy or depress, or unable to overcome difficulties, and if the respondent wanted the interviewer to get her access to more help.

Response Rates:    Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:    None.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2016-09-26

Related Publications

Utilities

Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics