The non-prosecution of human trafficking cases: An illustration of the challenges of implementing legal reforms

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research on the implementation of reforms focusing on policies and practices of the criminal court system reveals that members of the courtroom workgroup often resist or circumvent these legal reforms. This is particularly true if the reforms require changes in the way cases are prosecuted, affect the likelihood of successful prosecution, or impede the efficient and effective processing of cases. In this paper, I demonstrate that the findings of the Farrell et al. study of the prosecution of human trafficking cases are consistent with the larger bodies of research on prosecutorial charging decisions and the implementation of legal reforms. Like reforms designed to enhance the likelihood of successful prosecution of sexual assault and domestic violence cases, the new human trafficking statutes may not be capable of achieving the instrumental effects that those who lobbied for the changes envisioned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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Human Trafficking
prosecution
reform
Domestic Violence
Sex Offenses
Research
assault
domestic violence
statute

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Law

Cite this

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title = "The non-prosecution of human trafficking cases: An illustration of the challenges of implementing legal reforms",
abstract = "Research on the implementation of reforms focusing on policies and practices of the criminal court system reveals that members of the courtroom workgroup often resist or circumvent these legal reforms. This is particularly true if the reforms require changes in the way cases are prosecuted, affect the likelihood of successful prosecution, or impede the efficient and effective processing of cases. In this paper, I demonstrate that the findings of the Farrell et al. study of the prosecution of human trafficking cases are consistent with the larger bodies of research on prosecutorial charging decisions and the implementation of legal reforms. Like reforms designed to enhance the likelihood of successful prosecution of sexual assault and domestic violence cases, the new human trafficking statutes may not be capable of achieving the instrumental effects that those who lobbied for the changes envisioned.",
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