CSAO: Judiciary Committee - March 24, 2017 - S.B. No. 930

TESTIMONY OF THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

S.B. No. 930 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECEIPT OF ANNUAL REPORTS ON ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES.

JOINT COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
March 24, 2017

The Division of Criminal Justice respectfully requests the Committee’s JOINT FAVORABLE SUBSTITUTE REPORT for S.B. No. 930, An Act Concerning the Receipt of Annual Reports of Anti-Human Trafficking From Law Enforcement Agencies. The Division respectfully request that the reporting process adopted last year with regard to the Division of Criminal Justice and, specifically the State’s Attorneys, be streamlined to provide for greater efficiency.

The Division of Criminal Justice is committed to the effective investigation and prosecution of all criminal matters, including human trafficking. The Division, through the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the State’s Attorneys, works closely with law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels to enforce the laws on trafficking. Oftentimes these cases are prosecuted federally because of the reality that federal prosecutors have effective investigative tools not available to state prosecutors and the simple fact that federal law often provides for more significant penalties than state law.

S.B. No. 930 revises reporting requirements placed on the State’s Attorneys pursuant to Public Act 16-71, since codified in Section 51-286h of the General Statutes. This requirement is onerous in that it requires individual reports to be filed by each of the thirteen State’s Attorneys in Connecticut with regard to detailed statistics related to human trafficking cases. The requirement itself is unclear in that there is no definition of what constitutes human trafficking for purposes of reporting. It also must be noted that while the Division is in the planning stages for a case management system, neither the State’s Attorneys nor the Chief State’s Attorney currently has any automated capability to retrieve and compile the detailed data required by the statute.

The existing law also is a distinct departure from other reporting requirements placed on the Division of Criminal Justice. Such reporting responsibility generally rests with the Chief State’s Attorney as the administrative head of the Division of Criminal Justice. Additionally, it is the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney that coordinates statewide activities with regard to establishing policy with regard to the investigation of human trafficking activities and participation in the Trafficking in Persons Council. As such, the Chief State’s Attorney is in the best position to report relevant information that can best assist the Trafficking in Persons Council in its work.

The Division would respectfully recommend the Committee amend S.B. No. 930 to replace Section 51-286h with the following substitute language:

(Effective from passage) The chief state’s attorney shall report, not later than January 1, 2017, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and children on: (1) participation in federal, state-wide or regional efforts to investigate and prosecute human trafficking, and (2) obstacles to investigating human trafficking.

In conclusion, the Division thanks the Committee for affording this opportunity to provide input on this matter and would be happy to provide any additional information the Committee might require or to answer any questions that you might have.



Content Last Modified on 3/24/2017 11:27:12 AM