In the recent decades, research concerning juvenile offenders has greatly expanded and become quite influential in the shaping of policies and practices. In particular, research has consistently shown that juvenile populations represent a unique population of offenders and that distinct treatments are appropriate. Based on these findings, Harvell and colleagues (2018) argue that the criminal justice system must recognize such differences. Unlike adult offenders, juveniles are still developing both psychologically and biologically. As a result, juveniles often have lower self-control, especially during emotional situations. In these instances, behavior can be widely affected and delinquency can result (Harvell et al., 2018; National Research Council, 2013). Creating strategies that are specifically tailored to juvenile offenders is the most effective course of action to reduce reoffending. In their research report, Harvell et al. (2018) stress collaboration between researchers and practitioners, particularly within juvenile probation.
One of the greatest human rights violations in today’s world is human trafficking, which has been growing at an alarming rate. Every year, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders; 80% of them are females, of which about half of those are children (U.S. Department of State, 2004, p. 6). This epidemic is complicated, involving not just neighboring or within countries, but across different continents. In 2014, the number of different trafficking flows was more than 500 (UNODC, 2016, p. 1). With the United States being one of the top 10 destination countries, an outrageous number of persons are trafficked into this country every year. According to the annual report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), most of the victims brought into North America are from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Most of these trafficked persons are brought into the country for sexual exploitation and forced labor, and the direst part is that due to the covert nature of this crime, it is hard to find the source countries for this trafficking (U.S. Department of State, 2009).
Sexual assaults, regardless of when and where they occur or to whom they victimize, are a serious public health problem that brutally harms victims, both physically and mentally. The statistics demonstrating the pervasiveness of sexual assaults in the United States are astounding. Nearly one in three women and approximately one in six men suffer from some form of sexual violence during their lifetime (Zapp, Buelow, Soutiea, Berkowitz, & DeJong, 2018). Non-majority populations, inclusive of “persons with disabilities, certain racial/ethnic groups and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,” are more likely to be victimized than their peers (Zapp, et al., 2018, p. 2). More particularly, females between the ages of 18- and 24-years old experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assaults (Moore & Baker, 2018). Research indicates that “depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideation” are both the long and short-term health consequences for victims following attacks (Fedina, Holmes, & Backes, 2018, p. 76). Assault victims may be even more susceptible to revictimization, academic suffering, and the engagement of risky behaviors, including drug experimentation and binge drinking (Fedina, et al., 2018). Therefore, any reductions in sexual assaults will benefit at-risk victim populations.