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Current DJJ Human Trafficking Intervention Initiatives


Human Trafficking Screening Tool (HTST)


  • DJJ launched a three-county pilot project in August 2012, making Florida the first state in the US to attempt to identify victims immediately upon arrest.
  • In March 2015, DJJ expanded this initiative statewide, putting an improved victim identification tool in all of Florida’s juvenile assessment centers and intake facilities.
  • This Human Trafficking Screening Tool (HTST), jointly developed by the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Families, screens for both labor and sex trafficking and is utilized with male, female and transgender youth that are at-risk for trafficking victimization.
  • Allows DJJ to serve as a safety net for children not identified by law enforcement. This is important because from July 2009-January 2013, only 3% of suspected victims entered the juvenile justice system on prostitution charges. Most enter on battery or theft charges. 
  • As of October 2016, individuals under 18 years old cannot be arrested for prostitution charges in Florida.

Human Trafficking Screening Tool (HTST) - 2020 Updates


  • DJJ updated the Human Trafficking Screening Tool in 2019 to include a PreScreening, designed to flag some of the most common historical factors and behavioral indicators of a person who has experienced trafficking. DJJ Juvenile Probation Officers and others involved the intake screening process use the HTST PreScreening to help determine whether a full HTST needs to be completed.
  • In 2020, DJJ incorporated the Human Trafficking Screening Tool (HTST) PreScreening into the larger HTST in the electronic case management system in order to help DJJ Juvenile Probation Officers and others involved the intake screening process move seamlessly between the HTST PreScreening and the full HTST. 
  • For more information about the HTST, contact the DJJ Human Trafficking team via email here.

Enhance the Continuum of Care


In March 2014, DJJ and the Department of Children and Families created two working groups to assess the tools available to identify victims of human trafficking and the services available to help them heal. These workgroups provided recommendations to the Departments in 2014 on how to improve victim identification and enhance the continuum of services available to victims in Florida. View the workgroup's recommendations.

Interagency Collaboration


  • DJJ’s Secretary serves on the statutorily-created Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. The Statewide Council is chaired by Florida’s Attorney General and consists of 14 members representing state legislators, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, local organizations, and individuals selected by the Attorney General. The Council aims to enhance efforts to combat trafficking and support victims. In 2019, the Council established a Direct Support Organization (DSO) for the purpose of supporting the Statewide Council. Learn more about the Council.
  • Statewide Council meetings are public meetings, subject to Florida’s Sunshine laws. Any individual is welcome to attend Statewide Council meetings. The meeting schedule is available here.
  • Human trafficking is a problem no agency can solve on its own. DJJ is committed to working with its dozens of partners to identify victims and provide them with the right service at the right time. To this end, DJJ attends monthly update calls with over 20 state agency partners where participants share their organization’s initiatives, share information, and invite collaboration.

The Florida Human Trafficking Summit


The Florida Attorney’s General Office, who chairs the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking representing the 14 members representing state legislators, government agencies including DJJ, law enforcement agencies, local organizations, and individuals selected by the Attorney General, will host the annual statewide Human Trafficking Summit on October 6, 2020. This year’s summit will be a virtual conference and will focus on preventing labor and sex trafficking of children and adults. Profession-specific breakout sessions and training opportunities will be available to law enforcement, the legal community, service providers, healthcare professionals, educators, and other first responders. View information about registration, hotel and sessions.

 Human Trafficking Research


The Department of Juvenile Justice has an active Office of Research and Data Integrity and partners with academics from universities across the globe on topics related to juvenile justice. If you are interested in partnering with DJJ to conduct trafficking-related research, contact the DJJ Human Trafficking Intervention Director here.  All research must be reviewed and approved by the DJJ Institutional Review Board (IRB) within the Office of Research and Data Integrity. Learn more about the Office of Research and Data Integrity here and, specifically, DJJ’s IRB here
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