First Advisor

McGrath, Jack

Second Advisor

Cimms, Richard


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

MS Criminology


School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

44 pages


The topic of human trafficking is not a new concept to the majority of individuals involved in any aspect of criminology. Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, including prostitution, is dramatically increasing in the number of incidents opened for investigation since 2000; the increased public interest in the various elements of the sex industry only add to this problem. Human trafficking within the United States (U.S.) is not a new concept however; diminutive amounts of research as a whole have been conducted in and around the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. This research project aimed to answer: whether experts in the field of human trafficking perceive Denver, Colorado as an incubator for human trafficking and sexual exploitation? Results determined Colorado's geographical location influenced the prosperity of human trafficking due to the layout of the state's two major highways, Interstate 25 and Interstate 70. Results obtained from experts at the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, Prax(us) and the Safe Streets Task Force disclosed that sex trafficking is closely associated with sexual exploitation through prostitution. Results determined the populations with the highest risk of becoming a trafficking victim are homeless or chronic runaway youth. Areas for future research indicate that education and public service announcements centered on the sex industry may reduce the number of individuals falling victim to this crime.

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

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