Victims of Crime

Meeting the Legal Needs of Human-Trafficking Survivors

Byrne outlines the legal needs of human trafficking survivors (including expungement or vacatur, trauma-informed representation, autonomy, etc.), the challenges faced by lawyers who represent trafficking survivors, poses an argument for self-directed representation of survivors who are minors, and offers guidance for lawyers who seek to serve this population.

Legal Services Assessment for Trafficked Children

Researchers at the Center for the Human Rights of Children conducted a survey with professionals working in and around Cook County, IL who provided services to human trafficking survivors. They find that 85 percent of service providers report access to legal services as “critical” for child trafficking survivors.

Using Preventive Legal Advocacy to Keep Children from Entering Foster Care

Vivek Sankaran, a professor at University of Michigan, shows how “a lawyer may be able to prevent a child from entering foster care in the first instance. Children may unnecessarily enter foster care because their parents are unable to resolve legal issues that affect their safety and well-being in their home” (p. 1037). Sankaran also describes a new model to provide social and legal advocacy to parents.

The Needs of Native Americans with Disabilities: 2007 Needs Assessment

The Native American Disability Law Center is the sole provider of civil legal services that primarily focuses on Native Americans with disabilities in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. The Center conducted a survey and needs assessment of their clients. They find that their clients face poverty, isolation and discrimination and their clients report high levels of satisfaction with their services.

The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods

Two investigative journalists for ProPublica analyzed debt in collections by neighborhood tract. They find that debt is concentrated in neighborhoods that are majority black and that the average balance for which a balance was sued varies by race; white residents were sued for higher amounts, suggesting that they are better able to resolve smaller debts.

Disasters in Rural California: The Impact on Access to Justice

This report analyzes how disasters have disproportionately struck rural parts of California. These areas often have higher poverty rates than urban ones, and are typically the slowest to recover from disasters. During disaster and recovery, low-and modest-means communities often do not have access to legal remedies, meaning that recovery is often uneven. This report outlines how legal aid and pro bono assistance help residents in areas of housing, consumer issues, employment, insurance, public benefits, replacing vital records and documents, and accessing FEMA benefits.