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National Sweep Targeted Sex Traffickers, Recovery of Minors

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FBI on 8/15/2022

A major law enforcement operation to locate and assist victims of human trafficking and related crimes resulted in the location of more than 200 victims during the first two weeks of August.

Operation Cross Country is a coordinated operation among the FBI, other federal agencies, state and local police, and social services agencies across the country to find and assist victims of human trafficking, particularly child victims.

While this public operation draws attention to the issue of trafficking, the FBI and its partners work to investigate and stop trafficking every day.

“The initiative really just takes a concentrated period of time where we’re just focused on the problem of child sex trafficking,” said Section Chief Jose Perez, who oversees violent crime investigations in the FBI. “What we do is we sit down with our local partners and our task forces and identify certain areas where we know sex trafficking is prevalent, and we’ll dedicate resources and efforts to identify and remove victims from those areas.”

The FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Forces across the country worked to locate victims. About 200 federal, state, and local agencies partnered with the FBI on Operation Cross Country. They encountered both child victims of sex trafficking and adults who were being trafficked against their will. The goal is to gather intelligence, build criminal cases against traffickers, and offer victims assistance.

4 Things to Know About Colored Fentanyl Pills

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Graves Associates on 9/4/2022 by Keith Graves

There has been an increase in brightly colored fentanyl pills in the United States. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that Is responsible for killing hundreds of tens of Americans. In fact, a recent DEA press release stated that 2 out of every 5 fentanyl pills entering the United States is a lethal dose. In recent weeks, brightly colored fentanyl pills have become increasingly popular in the United States. These pills look a lot like candy, and can be very dangerous. There has been a lot of misinformation going around on this new trend, so I’ll break it down for you.

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Prosecutor candidates are split on a controversial practice that could soon end in Indiana

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Evansville Courier & Press on 9/20/2022 by Thomas B. Langhorne

EVANSVILLE — With fresh legal news threatening to end a practice only Indiana allows, the winning candidate for Vanderburgh County prosecutor in November’s election may have a decision to make.

And the two contenders don’t agree on it.

Since 2008 the prosecutor’s office − first Stan Levco and then Nick Hermann − has contracted with local law firm Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn (KDDK) to collect forfeiture money from the seizure of cash, cars and other property during arrests or searches by law enforcement. Most civil forfeiture actions stem from illegal drug activity.

KDDK gets 25% of the money it collects, plus reimbursement for expenses.

The Courier & Press reported last month that the law firm has been paid almost $453,000 since 2013, according to county auditor records. The auditor’s office isn’t required to keep expenditure claims for more than 10 years, and it hasn’t — so the total compensation to KDDK since 2008 is unknown. The rest of forfeiture collections are distributed to the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement agencies in the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force.

Indiana is the only state in the nation that allows the type of contract KDDK has with the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office. Critics of the practice point to a 2011 Indiana Court of Appeals ruling stating that a prosecutor “should not have a personal interest in (a) case separate from his professional role as prosecutor.”

“And that principle translates easily to Indiana’s system of contingency-fee forfeitures — where, by design, the (private) lawyers prosecuting the cases have a systemic incentive to maximize their personal income, not to do justice,” said Sam Gedge, an attorney for Washington, D.C.-area nonprofit public interest law firm The Institute for Justice.

Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana Updates

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Indiana Office of Court Services on 08/29/2022 by Indiana Office of Court Services

Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana provided recent updates on their activities, including voting to support the
implementation of three evidence-based violence prevention and intervention program models in Indiana and to publish their annual report.  Details can be found here.

Center for Juvenile Justice Virtual: Supporting System–Involved LGBTQ Youth Certificate Program

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Center for Juvenile Justice

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR), in partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Ceres Policy Research, is accepting applications for its  2022 Supporting the Well-Being of System-Involved LGBTQ Youth Certificate Program, to be held virtually from November 14–18, 2022.

This training is designed to help juvenile justice, child welfare, and other system partners improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth in child-serving systems. It will focus on the challenges these young people face and highlight effective policy and practice reforms that promote positive youth development. Topics include:

  • Terms and concepts related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE).
  • How to shape organizational cultures and approaches to support the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth.
  • The prevalence of multi-system involvement and compounding issues, such as implicit bias and stigma, racial and ethnic disparities, homelessness, and commercial sexual exploitation.

Upon completion of the Certificate Program and submission of an approved Capstone Project, participants will receive an Executive Certificate from Georgetown University, membership into CJJR’s Fellows Network, and ongoing support from the CJJR staff.

Applications are due by October 5, 2022.

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