Addressing Commercial Sexual Exploitation

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform is hosting a new webinar series titled “Addressing Commercial Sexual Exploitation: A Framework for the Youth Legal System.” Youth experiencing commercial sexual exploitation, or sex trafficking, continue to interface with our public systems – youth justice, child welfare, and beyond. Led by an expert team of researchers, practitioners, policy managers, and advocates, this webinar series will provide an overview of what commercial sexual exploitation is, what it looks like, and common misconceptions. Then, our expert team of collaborators and presenters will share examples from professional and lived experience of specific system-level policies and on-the-ground practices that can be used to better identify and support youth experiencing commercial sexual exploitation.

See below for the phenomenal team of researchers, practitioners, policy managers, and advocates that crafted and are featured in this webinar series.

Profile blurb with pictures for Mae Ackerman-Brimberg and Carly B. Dierkhising
Profile blurb with pictures for April Grayson and Michelle Guymon

Policy Solutions and Lessons Learned for Combating Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

This presentation delves into the multifaceted approach necessary to combat the commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) of children from a policy and infrastructure perspective. It emphasizes the pivotal role of cross-agency collaboration and centering individuals with lived experience in policy change. 

The presentation highlights the importance of political and financial investment to implement robust policies, and will provide examples of the policy and infrastructure frameworks needed to implement decriminalization, multidisciplinary teaming, and the shift toward community-based prevention and intervention. Presenters share lessons learned and policy recommendations from their experiences advocating for shifts in legal frameworks to support impacted youth and families.

Joining us as panelists were:

  • Mae Ackerman-Brimberg, JD, MSW; Senior Attorney for the National Center for Youth Law’s Collaborative Responses to Commercial Sexual Exploitation Initiative
  • Carly B. Dierkhising, PHD; Associate Professor at California State University, Los Angeles, the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics
  • April Grayson; Senior Policy Manager at the Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition

Establishing a Tailored Response to Commercial Sexual Exploitation within Probation Services

The second webinar in the series, “Establishing a Tailored Response to Commercial Sexual Exploitation within Probation Services,” offered strategies and examples of best practices designed to assist probation officers and their collaborators in identifying and supporting youth impacted by commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). Participant gained practical knowledge on building a multidisciplinary team response to CSE, fostering youth and family engagement, and centering youth voice and choice through systematic feedback and shared decision-making. Concrete examples from research, frontline probation experience, and lived experience were included throughout the presentation. You can watch the webinar in full above!

Shifting Narratives: Understanding the Complexities of Commercial Sexual Exploitation

The first webinar in the series, “Shifting Narratives: Understanding the Complexities of Commercial Sexual Exploitation,”  will explore the dynamics of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and identify vulnerabilities and pathways to CSE through case examples and lived experience. Data will be presented on the experience of young people impacted by CSE within the child welfare and youth justice systems to highlight opportunities for prevention and intervention. We will confront common misunderstandings and misperceptions that prevent proper identification and services for impacted young people.  Participants will gain a heightened awareness, improve their ability to identify CSE among young people, and build a collective commitment to better support those impacted by CSE.​​​​​​​

You can download both the video and the slide deck of the first webinar below!

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