LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's attorney general is leading a new commission aimed at dealing with human trafficking problems in the state.
Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the creation of Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking on Wednesday. The group will include lawmakers, activists and law enforcement. It will be tasked with reviewing Michigan policies and victim services, as well as developing plans for raising awareness about the issue.
The Commission will conduct a formal review of the following areas:
- Legislation and Policy -- Review the current legal framework governing human trafficking and determine whether new legislation or policy changes are required
- Raising Public Awareness -- Develop strategies to raise public consciousness and awareness of the crime of human trafficking
- Professional Training -- Review existing training efforts and determine how they can be enhanced and expanded. "Professionals" will be broadly interpreted to include various groups who may encounter human trafficking: law enforcement, health care providers, social service providers, hospitality providers and the transportation industry
- Victim Services -- Review victim needs and determine how those needs can best be met at the local and state level, including how to coordinate private and public sector assistance
- Data Collection -- Review strategies to collect statewide data so policymakers and law enforcement can assess progress in their efforts to tackle this growing crime across Michigan
Schuette says young women can become victims of human trafficking by being forced into prostitution or labor. He says the "modern day form of bondage" is one of the world's fastest growing crimes.
The commission is expected to begin meeting this month. Schuette says he will present the group's findings and recommendations to the legislature and public at the end of the six-month review.
The following members have confirmed their participation on the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking:
- Attorney General Bill Schuette -- Commission Chair
- Governor Rick Snyder
- Representative Kurt Heise, Chair, House Criminal Justice CommitteeMaura
- Corrigan, Director, Michigan Department of Human Services
- James Haveman, Director, Michigan Department of Community Health
- Col. Kriste Etue, Director, Michigan State Police
- Senator Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan), Chair, Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee
- Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee
- Senator Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton)
- Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor)
- Representative Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake)
- Representative Nancy Jenkins (R-Dover Township)
- Representative Dale Zorn (R-Ida)
- Representative Phil Cavanaugh (D-Redford)
- Robert D. Foley III, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Detroit Division
- Bridgette Carr, Director, Human Trafficking Clinic, University of Michigan School of Law
- Jane White, Director, Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force
- Terry Jungel, Executive Director, Michigan Sheriffs' Association
- Bob Stevenson, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police
- Thomas Robertson, Executive Secretary, Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council
- David Harvey, Executive Director, MCOLES
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A Kalamazoo County sheriff's deputy will not face criminal sexual conduct charges.
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night for an innocent bystander who was shot and killed in October.
Police say they haven't been able to find out which student was responsible after a Muskegon kindergartner was choked with his own scarf on the playground.