National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking

National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking

February 12, 2018 to February 14, 2018
Asheville, North Carolina

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The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is pleased to share that the next National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking (NJIDCST) will take place on February 12-14, 2018 in Asheville, NC. The NJIDCST is an interactive workshop that seeks to increase the judiciary’s understanding of child sex trafficking in the U.S. and improve the justice system’s response to victims and those at risk for sex trafficking. The program begins on Monday at 8:00 a.m. and concludes on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Program Description

The workshop uses hypothetical case scenarios, small group discussion, interactive exercises, and “mini” lectures to provide new and experienced judges with tools and information to develop or enhance their ability to identify and work with children who have been victimized or at risk of being victimized by sex trafficking. The interactive format enables judges from different jurisdictions and with varying levels of experience to learn from one another. 

The workshop is led by a faculty team of experienced judges and other experts from across the country who have pioneered work on domestic child sex trafficking in the courtroom and beyond.

The program is composed of the following segments:*

Practical Courtroom Exercises (1.5 hours)

Participants will participate in a series of practical courtroom exercises designed to highlight the issues and core conflicts that appear in domestic child sex trafficking cases.

Stay or Go (1.5 hours)

In this empathy-building exercise, participants will learn about a victim’s decision-making process, the power and control tactics of trafficking, and the effects of trauma and resiliency.

Victim Risk Factors and Vulnerabilities (1.75 hours)

This segment provides foundational knowledge of domestic child sex trafficking including definitions, prevalence, risk factors, and vulnerable populations.

The Legal Landscape of Domestic Child Sex Trafficking (1.75 hours)

This segment will develop participants’ knowledge of federal trafficking legislation and state statutes and will highlight the ability of judges to craft appropriate responses to cases despite the potentially challenging legal framework.

Perpetrators: Recruitment, Control, and Demand (1.75 hours)

In this segment, participants will learn about the demand side of domestic child sex trafficking and the recruitment and control tactics used by traffickers.

Trauma-Informed Justice Systems (2 hours)

This segment focuses on how challenging courtroom behavior can be understood through a trauma lens and provides concrete examples of how to engage with victims in court. The segment also explores how an understanding of complex trauma and historical trauma is important in formulating an appropriate system response.

Cultural Considerations and Bias (2 hours)

Participants will examine how cultural identity, social roles, and cultural misinformation affect court intervention and decision-making in DCST cases. This segment will also provide strategies to reduce bias and enhance cultural competence.

Afternoon with the Experts (1.5 hours)

In small rotating groups, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact directly with faculty experts on a variety of topics, such as victim/witness testimony, detention alternatives, and more.

Judicial Leadership and Decision-making in DCST Cases (3 hours)

In this segment, participants will integrate their understanding of DCST and trauma into the judicial decision-making process. Participants will also consider strategies for interagency collaboration and engage in an interactive analysis of changes they would like to see in their own jurisdictions.

Who Should Attend

Only state and tribal court judges and judicial officers (commissioners, magistrates, referees, etc.) are eligible to attend the program. This is due to the nature of the grant funding the training but also because one of the most important aspects of the program is ensuring that judicial participants have a safe environment to speak candidly about the challenges of presiding over highly sensitive child sex trafficking cases. 


There is no registration fee for the program but participants will be responsible for their own lodging, travel, meals, and other costs. There are no scholarships available for the program at this time but some courts, CIPs, or AOCs may have access to STOP funds and other funding sources to cover judges’ travel and per diem costs.

Travel Arrangements & Lodging Information

Please do not purchase flights or make any other travel arrangements (except securing time away from your position) until you receive a registration confirmation email from the registrar.

The NCJFCJ has a room block reserved at the conference hotel with rooms available for participants at the government rate of $95 per night, plus any applicable taxes and fees. A reservation link will be shared with accepted participants in the registration confirmation email.


Please contact the registrar Chrissy Cullen at or (775) 507-4811 if you have any questions.

*These segments are subject to adjustments in advance of the workshop and on-site to meet the learning needs of participants.

This project is supported by Grant No. 2015-CT-FX-K001 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this website/publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice or the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

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