Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- A three-tiered approach developed to identify victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) was effective in identifying six new victims during the pilot program conducted at a juvenile court in Vancouver, Washington.
- There is a need for juvenile justice agencies to become educated on the risk factors associated with CSEC so that victims can be identified and connected with appropriate social services.
In the article, “Diverting Victims of Sexual Commercial Exploitation from Juvenile Detention: Development of the InterCSECt Screening Protocol,” Salisbury and her co-authors created a three-and-a-half month pilot intervention program at Clark County Juvenile Court in Vancouver, Washington to identify victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in an effort to connect them to community youth advocates and sexual assault resources. The authors screened 535 boys and girls ages 9-19 during intake, using a three-tiered approach, with each tier progressing in level of question invasiveness. Forty-seven of these youth reported factors associated with CSEC and were subsequently referred to community advocates. Six youth (all girls) were confirmed CSEC victims and were successfully diverted from juvenile detention. The results of the study suggest that despite the lack of reliable data surrounding the prevalence of CSEC, juvenile justice agencies need to become educated on the risk factors to triage victims to services.