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SC family court judges working to fight human trafficking

Four South Carolina family court judges recently published a plan to better equip the state’s judiciary to respond to the challenges presented by human trafficking.

Judges Michelle Hurley of Columbia, Michèle Patrão of Charleston, Melissa Buckhannon of Conway, and Jan Holmes of Georgetown attended the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judge’s National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking in Asheville, North Carolina, in February along with 34 other judges from 19 states.

Based on what they learned, they developed a list of dos and don’ts to help everyone working in the criminal justice system in South Carolina to better identify and respond to human trafficking. However, the list focuses primarily on those working in the state’s family courts.

“In many ways, our family courts are the front line in this work,” Columbia attorney Elliott Daniels, who co-founded Legal Assistance for Survivors of Trafficking, said in a news release. “Our state should applaud the leadership of these judges. When our courts know what to look for, our state becomes a safer place for survivors and a more dangerous place for traffickers to operate.”

To learn more, go to http://www.murphygrantland.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SC-Family-Judges-Address-Human-Trafficking-2.pdf.

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