"We hope by allowing them to have somewhere safe and restorative to stay, that we can up the amount of men, sometimes women, that we're able to successfully prosecute," she said. "In a larger ring, you may have a male who is at the top of the pyramid but you have females who started out as human trafficking victims who have actually kind of worked their way up into the administration of the ring, if you will, and those are the hardest to service because they're perpetrators and they're victims at the same time and you have to figure out how to successfully treat them."Some of the women traffickers are selling their children.The "stereotypical" human trafficker is a male is his early 20s with a "very young female," Allen said. "We see women who sell their kids for dope, sell their kids for sex, sell their kids on the internet," Allen said.Allen said the majority of human trafficking that she has seen happens in hotels or motels. To date, Madison County has prosecuted at least four men for human trafficking.Those convicted can face up to 20 years in prison, where they will serve day for day, and must register as sex offenders upon their release."Part of that is our fault as society because we've labeled them as 'troubled kids' and 'runaways' and we've placed all of the blame on them instead of trying to protect our children in the ways that we should have."Because of the lack of self-identification, organizations like The Center for Violence Prevention rely heavily on law enforcement to investigate and identify trafficking victims."We're seeing literally dozens and dozens of victims, and the more we train law enforcement and the more ability law enforcement and medical partners have to screen and assess these individuals, we believe they're just going to come out of the woodwork, literally," she said."Jackson is a major interstate connector between Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago," she said.
However, the transaction didn't go as planned for the man."What he believed to be a 14-year-old girl was an undercover officer, and we took him down and arrested him in the parking lot," Scott said.
However, in Mississippi, the majority of cases involve a single person.
"We see a mother or a father forcing their child, giving their child away to supply a drug habit.
"Drug addiction is very powerful, and you get into a situation where parents will offer up their children for drugs or the money to buy the drugs with … Scott recently worked a case where a man thought he was buying a 14-year-old girl from her drug-addicted mother so she could "pursue her habits." The man planned to buy the child "for a very low amount for a human body and a human child" and pimp her out at various truck stops.
"He came, he thought he was going to put her on the truck with him and, as sad as it is, was going to let her keep half of her money.