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Probation Officers To Get Training To Combat Human Trafficking

Photo: FBI.gov

The Florida Department of Corrections will soon train probation officers on how to spot and report human trafficking. The state has already been training correctional officers.

The state’s focusing on probation officers as 35 to 40 percent of inmates released from prison are also on probation.

Corrections Department Secretary Julie Jones said some inmates are particularly at risk to be trafficked.

“And those are inmates that are within six months of release, inmates that have prior drug or alcohol abuse issues, inmates that have a history of prostitution and those that have no release plan,” said Jones.

She said the program has thwarted some suspected human trafficking cases in the Orlando area. Last year, the Department of Corrections changed its public online database to have fewer personal inmate details that potential traffickers could access.

Jones said they’ve also been working to educate male and female inmates. This includes a poster campaign with the national human trafficking hotline number.

“Quite frankly, in the inmate population we have inmates that prey on other inmates and send them to central locations “Oh, I have a friend you can stay with them it’s no big deal’ and they show up at a hotel and they find out it’s a prostitution ring; so that awareness piece was very important,” said Jones.

Florida ranks third in the number of calls to the national human trafficking hotline.

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About Crystal Chavez

Crystal Chavez