Full Article | Research Summary (.pdf)

Year: 2012
Title: The Cook County Sheriff’s Human Trafficking Response Team: A Law Enforcement Model
Authors: Jody Rafael and Lindsey LaPointe

For the last 10 years, law enforcement jurisdictions around the country have increasingly embraced “End Demand” rhetoric, claiming to be taking a new approach to sex work policing. This “new” approach involves increased policing of clients and the view of sex workers as “victims.” While prominent in the news, limited data exists on such programs. This report reviews arrest data and strategies of the Cook County Trafficking Response Team, one of the most prominent proponents of “End Demand” policing. The report includes demographic information of those arrested by the Cook County Trafficking Response Team, charges given, and detailed information about the structure of their approach.

The report is based on 4 datasets: general Cook County arrest data from 2008-11; data from a 2-year study period (from August 19, 2009 and June 16, 2011); a 1.5 year review of 204 charging documents from between February 10, 2010 and July 1, 2011; and demographic information from nation-wide, coordinated reverse sting operations targeting clients.