Advancing Human Trafficking Prevalence Estimation in Hennepin County, Minnesota, 2018 (ICPSR 37398)

Version Date: Nov 29, 2022 View help for published

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Michael Shively, Abt Associates

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Proportional and effective responses to human trafficking require accurate assessment of the magnitude and character of the problem, and the study described in this summary was designed to advance the methodology available for that purpose. This study developed and tested a method that can be used to advance the empirical understanding of human trafficking, with a specific focus on identifying victims, estimating the number of victims present within a single jurisdiction, and understanding patterns of victims' prior contacts with health, justice, and social service systems. The core objectives of this study were exploratory and developmental. It was designed to produce estimates based on sampling and data collection methods that are scientifically sound, feasible to implement with modest resource commitments, and capable of producing data of pragmatic value to local jurisdictions in their efforts to respond to human trafficking. The method uses data collected by a brief victimization screening survey and extant administrative data from local agencies and organizations, and addresses both labor and sex trafficking experienced by both males and females. It is found the method to be feasible to implement, and yielded sample sizes and response rates supporting scientifically sound prevalence estimation. In one county, approval was obtained and 591 interviews were completed in a hospital emergency department, two homeless shelters, and one county jail central booking facility.

Shively, Michael. Advancing Human Trafficking Prevalence Estimation in Hennepin County, Minnesota, 2018. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-11-29.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2015-MU-MU-0003)


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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2017-07-01 -- 2018-09-10

The purpose of this study is to develop a methodology for estimating trafficking prevalence that is useful to policymakers and practitioners in local jurisdictions combatting human trafficking, as well as to state and federal policymakers and researchers. The methodology will produce estimates of labor and sex trafficking victimization in local jurisdictions using primary data collection supplemented with administrative data.

Stratified random sampling, from rosters of adults in one jail, one hospital Emergency Department, and two homeless shelters.


Adults (age 18+) held in jail booking facilities, seeking care in hospital emergency departments, and residing in homeless shelters within one county.


For secondary/existing datasets - specific data sources: a) Jail administrative data; b) Shelter/housing administrative data; c) Emergency medical department administrative data; d) Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data; e) Homeless shelter administrative data, such as data collected in the Management Information System (HMIS).

For Primary data collection: Screen individuals in jails and service settings for evidence of human trafficking (including pilot and full study) using a survey instrument.

65% agreement rate.





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