Webinar presenters Kevin Morison and Dr. Stephany Powell answered a number of your questions after their presentation, Local Strategies to Combat the Global Problem of Human Trafficking. Here are just a few of their responses.
Audience Question: What does green-lit or red-lit mean? You were talking or you use that term when talking about the young lady and her pimp.
Dr. Stephany Powell: It’s kind of a gang term. And for her in particular, what that meant was because she was considered to be a snitch. You saw her on the street, you greenlit, meaning you could do anything that you wanted to her regards to whether it’s physical, sexual abuse, whatever that means. So greenlit means it’s a go on that particular person.
Audience Question: Could you, you talked about John School, what is John School? What does that include?
Dr. Stephany Powell: Great question. When sex buyers are arrested, they have to go through a diversion program. And I know the one in LA, it’s a one day program, they have to pay $600, and who comes in there is everyone who was impacted by his action. So, that would be survivors of human trafficking, the neighbors who are stepping on condoms in the yard. They bring in a psychologist that comes and talks about sexual addiction, and so, it’s different classes over one day, eight hours, where they have to pay. And then that money is used for a non-profit organization, or wherever that money might need to go. Thank you.
Kevin Morison: How does that work with the john? He’s deferred from the regular court, right, to go to John School. What’s in it for that person?
Dr. Stephany Powell: Yeah. That’s exactly what happens is that he is deferred from having to go to court, and after a year, it would drop off of his record that he even had that particular arrest.
Audience Question: George is asking, I’m an ops manager in Retail Banking. Do you have any tips that I can provide the branch staff for identifying human trafficking, and, what they can do when faced with a potential victim?
Kevin Morison: Stephany is so good at answering these questions. I may point to her. Obviously, there have been a lot of partnerships formed with industries, such as hotels. You see human trafficking bulletins on the highway and turnpike rest areas and things like that. So, I think there are a lot of examples out there that probably can be looked at. But I think it’s, again, sort of the example I gave earlier, where you may have an older man with a younger woman who’s not related, seeking to withdraw money, or opening an account, or doing something that just doesn’t seem or feel right. I’d probably want to research that a little more to look for other examples. I think one thing for industries that are involved in that is to look perhaps to some of those examples, especially the hotel industry. I know it has been very big on that, but Stephany, help me out here.
Host: He expands on this. Maybe some of the common, or typical patterns of financial transactions, that we, as bankers can look for, to identify potential cases of human trafficking, either by the victims or by the criminals? And I know that’s one of the tells that we see an elder fraud abuse investigation. So, Stephany, if you have any investigative ideas, please share.
Dr. Stephany Powell: I was just going to say, and I don’t know your industry. But it would be the same thing that you would look for in terms of fraud, money laundering. I’ll give you an example. We had a young lady whose pimp would have the john give money to a fake organization or a fake charity that he had. So, you guys know when you see money transactions, something that just doesn’t look right. I think It’s better to err on reporting it and let law enforcement figure the rest. That’s a great question.
Audience Question: A lieutenant with tribal public safety is wanting to know how we can devise a preventative strategy in our situations that we won’t have to combat it once it’s been identified. Again, he’s with tribal public safety during the midst of completing a large hotel, adjoining their gaming complex, and so they’re wanting to be more proactive in addressing the problem before it even ever gets started. So. are there things that they can do to prevent the problem and stay legal, within their legal limits?
Dr. Stephany Powell: You know, I would love to talk to him further, and please reach out to me because one of the things that is happening in the human trafficking community is the conversation as it pertains to Indigenous people. You know, everybody needs to be trained, anybody that you think may come in contact with someone who is a victim needs to be trained. It could be the custodial staff at the hotel, anybody working in that particular hotel. Awareness and education of your community of the tribe is so important, because now it’s not just law enforcement that’s dealing with it, but also, everyone in terms of prevention, awareness, and education. You’ve got to start there, and then law enforcement, of course, needs to be trained on this, so that they know what to do when somebody comes and reports that. So, I hope that answers the question. And really quick, one thing I forgot to say, that I think is so important, when we talk about law enforcement and trauma-informed. You know, so often with law enforcement, your productivity is judged on how many people you arrest. We need to have a change of mindset. How many people were you able to help? And that, too, measures the productivity of an officer.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of Local Strategies to Combat the Global Problem of Human Trafficking.