HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — A Human Trafficking Safe Harbor Act has been introduced for Alabama as of April 7.
Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force Chair and State Representative Jack Williams, along with 61 bipartisan House members introduced HB433, which will add a Safe Harbor provision in current law. This will protect children who engage in the act of prostitution by providing that a sexually exploited child may not be adjudicated delinquent or convicted of a crime of prostitution.
A juvenile court will retain jurisdiction over these sexually exploited children to make sure they have access to shelter, health care and mental health counseling.
“I introduced HB433 to protect children who are victims of human trafficking,” said Rep. Williams. “This bill will keep minors charged with prostitution under the authority of DHR and out of the courts, ensuring the state treats them as victims, not criminals.”
This legislation will authorize the assessment of an additional fine of $500 upon conviction of the crime of promoting prostitution. The fine will be paid to a court-certified therapeutic counselor that offers education, treatment and prevention counseling to persons convicted of prostitution offenses.
The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force was established in April of 2014. Anyone supporting this bill and wishing it to pass is encouraged to contact their State Representatives and Senators to encourage them to vote “yes.” More information can be found here.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News