Dr. Lanier’s paper on human trafficking was recognized as Best Paper at the International Society of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research, Spring 2014 Conference. The conference was held in Biloxi, Mississippi, and chaired by Randall Valentine, Ph.D. Lanier’s “A Mixed Methods Analysis of Human Trafficking” was co-authored with Colin Farrell, an Assistant Professor in Health & Human Services at Western Kentucky University.
Human trafficking is a serious global problem that transcends international borders and disciplinary boundaries. Utilizing mixed methods, all county Sheriffs in Florida (67% response rate) were surveyed and interviews conducted with key constituents. The data suggest that the myriad of well-intentioned agencies responding to the problems need a frame of reference to help them synthesize and conceptualize various approaches to better respond to the multitude of problems related to trafficking. Policy recommendations are to refocus the law enforcement response – which may include various approaches that can simultaneously benefit public health – by incorporating an Epidemiological Criminology framework to help to guide the development of more systematic and integrative insight into the world of human trafficking.