Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Alabama

Date: December 2018

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Ala. Code § 12-15-701(e)

If a petition is filed alleging that a sexually exploited child is in need of supervision or is dependent, the child may be adjudicated a child in need of supervision or a dependent child pursuant to § 12-15-102(4) and (8). Once the sexually exploited child is adjudicated, the juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction over the child and may issue any requisite order or conduct any hearing necessary to protect the health or safety of a sexually exploited child that is determined to be in the best interests of the child. The juvenile court may also, on an emergency basis, enter an order of protection or restraint to protect the health or safety of a sexually exploited child.

Training Requirement

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Ala. Code §§ 12-15-701(a)-(c); 13A-6-181; 13A-12-123; 13A-6-159; 13A-6-183

A 'sexually exploited child' is an individual younger than age 18 who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and who has been subjected to sexual exploitation because he or she is any of the following:

  • A victim of the crime of human trafficking sexual servitude as provided in § 13A-6-150, et seq.
  • Engaged in prostitution
  • A victim of the crime of promoting prostitution

A sexually exploited child may not be adjudicated delinquent or convicted of a crime of prostitution. In any proceeding based upon a child's arrest for an act of prostitution, there is a presumption that the child satisfies the definition of a sexually exploited child as provided in this section.

A court may order an adult person convicted of prostitution to successfully attend counseling or an educational training program designed to reduce recidivism rates for these violations. Attendance of such programs shall be at the cost and expense of the person convicted of the offense.

An adult person who is charged with prostitution and has no prior arrest or convictions for prostitution may be accepted into a pretrial diversion program, provided that he or she meets the requirements of a pretrial diversion program within the jurisdiction where the offense occurred.

A sexually exploited child who is alleged to have committed prostitution shall be treated pursuant to § 13A-6-181.

In a prosecution for prostitution or a sexually explicit performance of a human trafficking victim for the victim's illegal acts engaged in or performed as a result of labor servitude or sexual servitude, it shall be an affirmative defense that the person was a victim of human trafficking.

For the safety and well-being of a person arrested for the crime of prostitution, he or she may be held in custody for up to 72 hours. The person shall be brought before a court of competent jurisdiction as soon as possible within a 48-hour period to conduct an inquiry into the person's access to resources, including, but not limited to, health care, shelter, mental health counseling, or financial aid. The court may issue an order to assist the person in obtaining the services and resources needed pursuant to the court's inquiry.

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Ala. Code § 12-15-701(h)

All social and community services shall be made available to a sexually exploited child. Services may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  • Forensic evidence collection
  • Forensic interviewing
  • Counseling
  • Advocacy
  • Shelter
  • Alcohol or substance use treatment
  • Mental health services
  • Medical treatment
  • Legal services
  • Educational tutoring, counseling, and language interpreter services
  • Crisis intervention services
  • Safety planning
  • Investigation and prosecution of the individuals subjecting the child to sexual exploitation or abuse

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.