Wisconsin is one of 13 states that automatically place 17-year-olds in the adult criminal justice system. In the past few years, nearly one-third of states have passed laws to keep more young offenders in the juvenile justice system. But not Wisconsin.
More than 50 cases of trafficking or attempted trafficking of minors on Backpage.com have been filed in 22 states in the past three years, says a letter from 45 attorneys general. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen declined to sign the letter, saying he has “a policy of not publicly announcing the details of ongoing investigations or publicly negotiating private sector cooperation.”
Experts and advocates say that since enacting a state law against human trafficking in 2008, Wisconsin has done little to expose situations in which which hundreds of state residents, including children, live as virtual slaves. In this story, two trafficking victims tell their stories.