Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Statewide Human Trafficking Needs Assessment
In 2015, HZA was hired by the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault to conduct a needs assessment which would include an estimate of the prevalence of human trafficking and exploitation in Maine, the impact of human trafficking and exploitation on state systems and citizens, the strengths and gaps in the capacity of Maine’s services and law enforcement to respond to human trafficking and exploitation, and action steps to build on the system’s strengths and address needs in the coming years. HZA used a mixed methods approach to identify the prevalence of human trafficking and the capacity of Maine’s service providers and law enforcement agencies to respond to it. HZA conducted structured and semi-structured interviews with state leaders, law enforcement, service providers, district attorneys, and advocates. Individual interviews and focus groups were conducted with current victims, including young adults, and survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation to gain insight into the impact of sexual exploitation, services available, and perception of laws and other protections currently in place. The impact of this study was considerable. The prevalence estimate was referenced in television newscasts and in three articles in September 2016 by the Bangor Daily News, and one more in the Bangor Daily News in November 2016. Findings were presented at one international conference and three national conferences. Based on the findings of this study, trainings were held for court advocates, law enforcement, social service providers and other stakeholders.
Connecticut Judicial Branch
Service Needs of 16 and 17 Year-old Court Involved Youth
The Judicial Branch retained HZA to assess the service needs and associated costs of 16 and 17 year olds in preparation for moving them from the adult correctional system to the juvenile system. To this end, HZA analyzed a variety of quantitative and qualitative data, current services and projected need based in part on risk assessments of the youth themselves. HZA found, among other things, that practical needs such as education and work preparation were not being addressed adequately. to examine the service needs of youth involved in court actions At the conclusion of the study HZA testified before the legislature on the results and the state did enact a law to raise the age of adult jurisdiction from 16 to 18.
Maine Department of Corrections
Trauma-informed Practices in Maine Juvenile Corrections
In 2012 Maine was awarded a multi-year contract to expand the principles of the trauma informed system of care developed in mental health to juvenile justice services. As the evaluator and technical assistance advisor, HZA is working with probation officers statewide to examine policies and practices and to institute evidence-based services designed to divert youth with mental illness from the juvenile system. HZA is evaluating the success of the program using a quasi-experimental design, with one region of the state not receiving the intervention acting as a control.