Case Management and the Victim of Human Trafficking: A Critical Service for Client Success. Benefits of Case Management for Victims, Law Enforcement, and Prosecutors

06/09/2008

Despite these challenges, case management is viewed as a critical service that has benefits not only for the victim, but for other stakeholders in this fight against human trafficking.

Benefits for Victims. First and foremost, the case manager is seen as critical by service providers, law enforcement, and victims themselves as helping the victim move toward self-sufficiency. Through educating victims of their rights, helping them understand and navigate through our criminal justice, immigration, and human service systems, identifying and making appropriate referrals, assisting victims in accessing services, advocating on behalf of the victim to other providers and agencies, and providing moral and emotional support, the victim can focus on his/her recovery.

Benefits for Law Enforcement. The case manager is viewed as critical in helping stabilize the victim to assist in the investigation by providing services and support that are beyond the means and expertise of law enforcement. This results in victims who are able to share, more quickly, with the officers, information that can aid in an investigation and, in some cases, the apprehension of the trafficker. Additionally, for many in law enforcement, the case manager is viewed as a "timesaver" for the officer. That is, law enforcement officers note that having a case manager from the outset who can work with the victim frees up the officer to conduct the investigation.

Benefits for the Prosecution. According to some Federal agents, the case manager is the one constant for victims throughout the process of the investigation and prosecution. For the prosecution, this source of stability for the victim translates into a more consistent and credible witness. Some prosecutors describe trafficking cases as victim-dependent. That is, the testimony of the victim or victims is essential to the success of the case. It is not surprising, then, that case management and case managers play an important role for the prosecution.

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