Human trafficking in Michigan
Human trafficking in Michigan includes trafficking and exploitation of illegal immigrants, kidnapping, and forced prostitution. As a result, laws were created to provide proper litigation of related cases, and large universities have also taken interest in combating this particular crime and bringing aid to the victims.
In 2006, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed House Bill 5747, introduced by Rep. Phil Pavlov, which specifically outlawed human trafficking in Michigan. The relevant state statutes are sections 750.462a to 750.462i. Effective April 1, 2011, an additional statute, 750.462j was enacted, which set grounds for further prosecution in human trafficking cases.
There are several organizations and services providing research of human trafficking in the US, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Other groups[who?] will also provide assistance for victims and for those who wish to contribute or aid in the prevention of human trafficking.
Michigan State University
Jane White, the Director of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force at the School of Criminal Justice of Michigan State University, is the founder of the task force that has over ninety member agencies. Their mission statement is:
"The Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force exists to facilitate a collaborative effort to prevent trafficking of persons within the State of Michigan, to pursue prosecution of perpetrators, and to protect and rehabilitate trafficking victims."
This task force provides awareness through speaking engagements and specialized training to professional groups and state-wide conferences, initiates regional task forces, supports prosecution both at state-level and federal cases, and identifies resources for victims/survivors of both labor and sexual trafficking.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan provides the "Human Trafficking Clinical Program". It consists of two sections, the Human Trafficking Clinic (HTC), and the Human Trafficking Law Project (HTLP). "The HTC is the first legal clinic solely dedicated to human trafficking in the United States." The HTLP is a database being constructed of all Human Trafficking litigation in the United States.
Several stories and cases can be found via the University of Michigan website. Cases of truck stops being used in prostitution rings are also in the database of the University of Michigan’s HTLP.
Henry Davis was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison after the police discovered a ring of forced prostitution. The women, including some as young as thirteen, had been kidnapped and imprisoned in a house in Detroit. They were forced to have sex with male visitors, strip at private parties, and sell jewelry at a strip mall. They were escorted everywhere, including the bathroom, and were beaten when they stepped out of line. The ring was discovered when one young woman, who had been kidnapped while waiting for a bus, escaped when she was taken to the mall to have her hair done and to sell jewelry. She then lead the police to the house where she had been imprisoned, leading to Davis' arrest.
- "IHM Sisters".
- "Michigan Votes".
- "CHAPTER LXVIIA HUMAN TRAFFICKING". THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT) Act 328 of 1931. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "MI Implements Stronger Human Trafficking Laws". CBS Detroit. March 31, 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force". Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice website. Michigan State University. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "University of Michigan Law School, Human Trafficking".
- Vloet, Katie. "No, Slavery Did Not End". Law Quadrangle. The Regents of the University of Michigan. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "United States v. Deric Willoughby". University of Michigan HTLP. The Regents of the University of Michigan. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- Suzette Hackney & Ben Schmitt, Detroit Free Press, January 15, January 16, February 4, February 15, September 16, 2003.