Document Type


Date of Award



Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs (SOPA)

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Administration of Justice

Committee Chairperson

Howard Henderson

Committee Member 1

David Baker

Committee Member 2

Glen Johnson

Committee Member 3

Ihekwoaba Onwudiwe


conviction, human trafficking law enforcement, perpetrators, profile, prosecution


Human trafficking is often referred to as modern day slavery and has gripped society and challenged the fabric of humanity. To provide a better understanding of this this crime, this study aimed to identify the common demographic profiles among perpetrators of human trafficking; what factors influence trafficking; whether various types of human trafficking influence rates of prosecution, conviction, and length of sentence; and if relationships exit among various characteristics of traffickers such as gender, race, ethnicity, and age of traffickers. The study uncovered a number of limitations in prior research on this topic; one of the most serious being that most research has focused primarily on victims and not the perpetrators of human trafficking. This study utilized secondary data on arrests, charges, prosecutions, and sentences obtained from a large city District Attorney’s Office in the southwest. Among others, the study findings indicate that most human trafficking perpetrators tend to be males, between ages of 18 and 24, and cases involving minors victims were prosecuted at a higher rate than those cases involving adult’s victims. The result of the study will potentially improve future law enforcement work of investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases as well as create an increased awareness of the underlying determinants of the low rate of prosecution and sentencing of offenders.


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