January 30, 2017
Florida Department of Corrections Works to Prevent Human Trafficking
TALLAHASSEE - In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the Florida Department of Corrections joins in the state’s efforts to combat this horrible crime and highlights the Department’s measures to fight human trafficking in communities throughout the state.
Secretary Julie Jones said, “Preventing human trafficking should be a priority for all agencies in Florida. At the department, we are working to eliminate this devastating crime by offering increased training for employees, providing new communications materials for our inmates and by preventing access to data that could be used to facilitate this violation to human dignity. We will continue to find ways to protect the members of our most vulnerable populations as a part of our mission.”
The Department recently took a number of steps focused on improving the way it protects residents, inmates and visitors against human trafficking. Specific efforts implemented include the following:
- A new, comprehensive “Human Trafficking: On the Street and Behind the Fence” training module was developed by the Department’s Bureau of Professional Development and Training for use by all correctional officers. This course focuses on 14 objectives that enable officers to understand the current landscape of human trafficking in the state, identify signs of human trafficking and learn how to report suspected cases within the correctional system.
- Staff development is producing a new training module on human trafficking awareness for probation officers and community supervision employees.
- Communications materials for institutions directing inmates to confidentially report information or concerns about human trafficking to appropriate contacts are being prepared for distribution.
- An improved web portal was launched late last year that limited the amount of personal identifier information potential traffickers can access in the Department’s public database to protect inmates from future exploitation.
Human Trafficking Awareness Month is recognized every January. Florida law defines human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery. For information on how you can prevent human trafficking, visit www.YouCanStopHT.com. For more information on the Florida Department of Corrections, visit www.dc.state.fl.us.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 96,000 inmates and supervises nearly 166,000 offenders in the community.