Emancipation Nation

Episode 54: At What Cost to Victims Should Traffickers be Brought to Justice and are For-Profit Prisons Engaged in Labor Trafficking?

July 21, 2020 Celia Williamson, PhD Season 1 Episode 54
Emancipation Nation
Episode 54: At What Cost to Victims Should Traffickers be Brought to Justice and are For-Profit Prisons Engaged in Labor Trafficking?
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Emancipation Nation
Episode 54: At What Cost to Victims Should Traffickers be Brought to Justice and are For-Profit Prisons Engaged in Labor Trafficking?
Jul 21, 2020 Season 1 Episode 54
Celia Williamson, PhD

Through focused research, the Human Rights Legal Center found that many times victims, in the U.S., have been forced to testify against their trafficker in order for the state to win the case, regardless of the trauma the victim suffered or their willingness to testify. This “force” is in direct opposition to a victim-centered and trauma informed approach and is seemingly more aligned with the lack of freedom the victim was subjected to under the control of a trafficker.  It is suspected that some victims may not be informed of their rights under the ‘Crime Victim’s Rights Act”, a law that is a powerful check against prosecutors who don’t act in the best interest of the victim. The Crime Victim’s Rights Act includes the right to be treated with fairness and the right to dignity and privacy. Prosecutors build their careers on winnable cases. Those that compel victims to testify against their wishes, may be acting in their own self-interest and those of the state. This serves to buy a winnable case, but at a cost paid by unwilling and traumatized victims who are left to deal with the psychological aftermath. In the second half of the interview Attorney Sarah Bessell discusses how for-profit prisons may be more aligned with labor trafficking practices, than punishment or rehabilitation.

Show Notes

Through focused research, the Human Rights Legal Center found that many times victims, in the U.S., have been forced to testify against their trafficker in order for the state to win the case, regardless of the trauma the victim suffered or their willingness to testify. This “force” is in direct opposition to a victim-centered and trauma informed approach and is seemingly more aligned with the lack of freedom the victim was subjected to under the control of a trafficker.  It is suspected that some victims may not be informed of their rights under the ‘Crime Victim’s Rights Act”, a law that is a powerful check against prosecutors who don’t act in the best interest of the victim. The Crime Victim’s Rights Act includes the right to be treated with fairness and the right to dignity and privacy. Prosecutors build their careers on winnable cases. Those that compel victims to testify against their wishes, may be acting in their own self-interest and those of the state. This serves to buy a winnable case, but at a cost paid by unwilling and traumatized victims who are left to deal with the psychological aftermath. In the second half of the interview Attorney Sarah Bessell discusses how for-profit prisons may be more aligned with labor trafficking practices, than punishment or rehabilitation.