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sex trafficking

Understanding the Bay Area's human trafficking problem: KPFA News interviews reporter Jason Winshell

Michael Stoll, SF Public Press — Mar 14 2012 - 2:21pm

The Public Press’ latest print edition cover story, on California’s uncoordinated attack on the problem of human trafficking, has been picked up in a variety of media since the publication of the special team reporting project in the Spring 2012 edition: “Force, Fraud Coercion: Human Trafficking in the Bay Area.” The project was produced in collaboration with New America Media and El Tecolote, San Francisco’s bilingual newspaper. Last week Public Press reporter Jason Winshell was interviewed on KPFA Radio by producer Anthony Fest. Winshell’s lead story showed that four years after a high-profile state task force issued a study, many of its recommendations for better laws, funding and coordination among agencies have yet to materialize.

Weak state law, lack of police savvy frustrate attorneys who prosecute traffickers

Dhyana Levey, SF Public Press — Feb 29 2012 - 3:51pm

This special report appeared in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

While California prosecutors mostly agree that the state’s human trafficking laws need strengthening, they also suggest that failure to recognize the crime itself remains a greater impediment in the fight. State law is still relatively new. Assembly Bill 22 of 2005 created penalties specifically for human traffickers. But some attorneys say it has not been much help. 

California voter initiative would strengthen penalties for traffickers

Leigh Cuen, SF Public Press — Feb 24 2012 - 2:17pm

This special report appeared in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

California group dedicated to stopping human trafficking is hoping to take its fight directly to voters this fall. In January, the nonprofit advocacy group California Against Slavery began circulating petitions to get a measure on the November 2012 ballot to strengthen the state’s human trafficking laws. The measure is called the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, and the campaign has mobilized hundreds of people around the state to collect the 800,000 valid signatures required for the measure to make the ballot.

Bay Area agencies improvise tactics to battle trafficking

Jason Winshell, SF Public Press — Feb 15 2012 - 1:47pm

With little guidance from state leaders, local police, nonprofits fight for scarce funding

This special report appeared in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

Across California, local agencies have been left to scramble for limited resources and improvise strategies to fight human trafficking, a problem whose scope has yet to be defined with reliable numbers. A high-profile state task force studying California’s human trafficking problem made 46 recommendations in October 2007 but set up no mechanism to monitor progress. Attorney General Kamala Harris has begun picking up the pieces this year. But without clear guidance from the state, nine regional task forces sprung up to devise their own solutions. Their efforts have been supported mostly by federal grants. But as the funding rules become more stringent, the groups at times have been pitted against each other for resources.

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