National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking

National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking

November 18, 2019 to November 20, 2019
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Click here to register

The NCJFCJ is pleased to share the dates and location for the next National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking (NJIDCST): November 18-20, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 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 8:30 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 or tribal law 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.

Conversations to Rethink, Reframe, and Reenvision System Response (1.5 hours)

In this exercise, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact directly with faculty on a variety of topics, such as detention alternatives, services, 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.

Click the button below or use this link to register for the Institute.

Click here to register                                          


Travel Arrangements & Lodging Information

This program is approved by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). 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 will have a room block reserved at the conference hotel with rooms available for participants at government rates.



Please contact the registrar Patricia Gotera at or (775) 507-4875 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.