Law Enforcement

Human trafficking is a crime in all 50 states and 16 territories (see Polaris' list of State Laws and Issue Briefs).  As a mandated reporter, you likely already have members of law enforcement in your referral network. In addition to services within the criminal justice system, law enforcement can also:

  • Refer you to victim service providers in the area
  • Provide a network of resources through a human trafficking task force, where available
  • Provide certification to help individuals apply for immigration relief

However, many individuals who have experienced trafficking have a negative or fearful perception of law enforcement officials because of previous arrests, fear of arrest or deportation, or abuses imposed by authority figures. It is important to be thoughtful when working with law enforcement. Limit disclosures to law enforcement related to a specific individual to when: the individual requests to meet with law enforcement, state-specific mandated reporting scenarios, and/or when clinicians suspect imminent danger to staff and/or the individual.

Always remember that your primacy focus should be the individual.

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