The Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010
The Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010 authorizes large block grants to create a comprehensive, victim-centered approach to addressing child sex trafficking and calls for improvements to the National Crime Information Center system to track information about missing and exploited children. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the bill on December 22, 2009. It is co-sponsored by Senators Cornyn (R-TX), Franken (D-MN), Merkley (D-OR), Cantwell (D-WA), and Schumer (D-NY). The bill passed unanimously out of committee on August 5, 2010, using existing authorized funding through the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005.
A companion House bill was introduced by Reps. Maloney (D-NY) and Smith (R-NJ) which will be heard in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime on September 15, 2010. For more information, click here.
Details of Legislation
Sex Trafficking Block Grants
The bill authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs to award six one-year block grants, renewable up to three years, of $2,500,000 each to “eligible entities” in different regions of the United States to combat sex trafficking and provide shelter and services to child sex trafficking victims. Recipients must subgrant at least 50% of the grant funds to a qualified NGO to provide shelter and services to victims of child sex trafficking; the remainder of the grant funds can be used to improve investigations and prosecutions of sex trafficking crimes. Grant funds may be used for:
Temporary or long-term shelter for minor victims of sex trafficking
24 hour emergency social services response to minor victims of sex trafficking
Clothing and daily necessities for minor victims of sex trafficking
Case management, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services for minor victims of sex trafficking
Legal services for minor victims of sex trafficking
Specialized training on sex trafficking
Salaries for law enforcement officers (percentages of a salary paid for by grant funds shall be at least as high as the percentage of time dedicated to sex trafficking cases involving minors)
Salaries for state and local prosecutors
Investigation and trial expenses
Outreach and education programs
Deterrence and prevention of sex trafficking of minors
Treatment programs for those charged with solicitation of prostitution when treatment is an appropriate alternative to incarceration (which would not include those charged with solicitation of a minor).
Eligible Entity- An “eligible entity” to apply for the block grants is a state or local government unit that: (1) has significant criminal activity involving the sex trafficking of minors; (2) has demonstrated cooperation between state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and social service providers in addressing sex trafficking of minors; (3) provides that, under the multidisciplinary plan, a minor victim of sex trafficking will not be required to collaborate with law enforcement in order to receive the services funded by the grant; and (4) has developed a multi-disciplinary plan to combat the sex trafficking of minors that includes:
a shelter for minor victims of sex trafficking;
rehabilitative care to minor victims of sex trafficking;
specialized training for law enforcement officers and social service providers;
prevention, deterrence and prosecution of sex trafficking offenses;
cooperation agreements with organizations serving runaway and homeless youth;
law enforcement protocols to screen all individuals arrested for prostitution for victimization through sex trafficking
Evaluation of grant funded programs – DOJ is directed to contract with an experienced academic or non-profit organization to conduct an annual evaluation of the programs’ effectiveness. The Inspector General will conduct an audit of all grants in 2012 and 2013.
Enhancements to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) System
This non-enforceable section of the bill encourages the U.S. Department of Justice to enhance the NCIC database system to designate minors who are reported missing three times in one-year are endangered juveniles within the database and to provide a visual cue in the database to assist law enforcement in immediately recognizing the youth as an endangered child.