human trafficking, united states, UCR, GIS


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Courtney Topic


Human Trafficking is defined as obtaining a person and subjecting them to some sort of servitude against their will. The purpose of this study is to determine if reports of human trafficking occur at higher rates in areas with International Ports of Entry, such as international airports, border control points, or ports for boats. In order to do this, the study utilizes data from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collected from 2013-2020. This data was then added to a program named Business Analyst 2019, a type of Geographic Information System (GIS) designed to analyze trade and develop maps to show data, developed by Esri, the leading supplier of GIS Software, and analyzed at the county level. Using maps to show the illicit trade of human trafficking allows for a better visualization of where hotspots are throughout the US. Additionally, the software provides us the ability to show trends over time, which could inform law enforcement response at the local, state, and federal levels.