State officials say Minnesota’s “Safe Harbor” program is helping with the effort to treat all young victims of sex trafficking as victims rather than criminals, but more work is needed. Wilder Research found inconsistencies across Minnesota in how law enforcement handles such situations and researcher Laura Schauben says some officials have a different perspective about what keeps a youth safe. Schauben says, “They feel like, if they’re locked up, then nobody can get to them. What they do about that is not something I can speak to, but that is part of, I think, where the inconsistencies lay.” Officials say more training is needed because how a victimized youth’s case is handled sometimes depends on which officer shows up.
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