Title

Diverting Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation From Juvenile Detention: Development of the InterCSECt Screening Protocol

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Identifying victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the juvenile justice system is a challenging complexity requiring concerted organizational commitment. Using a three-tiered, trauma-informed screening process, a 3½-month pilot intervention was implemented in Clark County Juvenile Court (Washington) to identify victims in an effort to connect them to community youth advocates and sexual assault resources. A total of 535 boys and girls ages 9 to 19 were screened during intake; 47 of these youth reported risk factors associated with commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and were subsequently referred to community advocates. Six youth (all girls) were confirmed CSEC victims and were successfully diverted from juvenile detention. Study results suggest that despite the lack of reliable data surrounding the prevalence of CSEC, juvenile justice agencies need to become educated on the risk factors to triage victims to services.