Meredith Dank Receives $1 Million Grant

to Study Forced Criminality in the United States


Despite attention to human trafficking for criminal exploitation, or forced criminality, and recent movement toward legal reform and policy, we lack basic information about the scope and characteristics of forced-criminality victimization, understanding of how it happens, and the factors that put people at risk for or protect against it. With funding from NIJ, Research Professor Meredith Dank will collaborate with Amy Farrell (Northeastern University), Rebecca Pfeffer (Research Triangle Institute), and Ethan Levine (Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking) to create a screening tool, investigate vacated-judgment records, and conduct interviews to answer:

  • What are the nature and scope of forced criminality among criminal defendants?
  • What are the barriers to identifying victims of forced criminality and which indicators could help criminal-justice stakeholders and others better identify these cases?
  • Which services and resources would help protect victims of forced criminality from prosecution for crimes they were coerced to commit, meet their needs to prevent future harm, and hold their traffickers criminally accountable?

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