trio of local professors have received a $399,000 federal grant to
research the scope and nexis of gang activity and sex trafficking in the
study, entitled “Measuring the Extent and Nature of Gang Involvement in
Sex Trafficking in the San Diego/Tijuana Border Region,” will bring
together Point Loma Nazarene University’s professor of cultural
anthropology Jamie Gates, University of San Diego’s assistant professor
Ami Carpenter and San Diego State University’s professor of criminal
justice Dana Nurge.
The project will begin in January.
National Institute of Justice has begun funding research on trafficking
across the country in recent years in an attempt to understand the
scope of the problem. Experts at the federal agency say much more work
is needed on assessing how much trafficking goes on, how it works and
who are the perpetrators and victims in the United States.
Gates, Carpenter and Nurge proposal includes the creation of an
integrated human trafficking database that collects a wide range of
information including underage victim data as well as information about
Carpenter are involved with the San Diego County Regional Human
Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Advisory
Council. The pair oversee the research and data sub-committee.
officials in the county have begun to fight sex trafficking in middle
and high schools and are working to educate kids and their families
about the crime.
around the country are trying to get a handle on the scope and nature
of the human trafficking in their neighborhoods,” said Gates. “We have
gained unprecedented cooperation from schools as well as a broad range
of law enforcement agencies and social service organizations in San
been studying the gang connection for more than a year in the region.
This study, she said, will allow the researchers to gather hard numbers
on human trafficking.
study will begin as another SDSU professor, Sheldon Zhang, completes a
three-year project on labor trafficking in the region. The results of
Zhang's study will be released before the end of the year.