CAWS North Dakota receives grant to combat human trafficking

BISMARCK – CAWS North Dakota will receive $900,000 from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the state of North Dakota’s Office of Attorney General will receive $600,000 from the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to work in partnership under the Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking Grant Program. North Dakota is one of ten recipients of the grants nationally.

The awards from the Justice Department — administered by the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)—support efforts across the country to combat human trafficking by funding investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking crimes, services for survivors and research.

CAWS North Dakota and the Office of the Attorney General will use the funds to develop comprehensive victim services and encourage proactive law enforcement investigations. A statewide task force will be convened by BCI, CAWS and the U.S. Attorney’s office to oversee the program while two navigators will be hired to serve as case managers in order to streamline services for victims and enhance the collaboration with law enforcement. Additional funding will be used to offer direct services to victims.

“Providing access to victim centered services has been and always will be our priority. This award is the culmination of 18 months of a statewide comprehensive planning that will increase our state’s ability to address the rise in human trafficking cases and ensure victims have access to the services they need,” said CAWS North Dakota’s Executive Director Janelle Moos.

The grants were announced last week by the Attorney General in Seattle, which has been selected as one of sixteen sites for anti-trafficking task force awards, to receive $1.5 million to support law enforcement efforts and services to victims. The Department of Justice will award more than $44 million in grant funding for development of Human Trafficking Task Forces for the next three years. The grants are part of a government-wide effort to combat human trafficking and provide services to survivors, as outlined in Coordination, Collaboration, Capacity: Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, 2013–2017, released by the White House in January 2014.

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