Human trafficking is an international criminal phenomenon that disregards human morals and beliefs. The United States is not immune to these heinous acts that unfortunately remain largely unseen by law enforcement and legal authorities. This research present s a comprehensive analysis of the crime in the southeastern region of the United States. By focusing on the region, and more specifically the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the research provides valuable insights to both the states within the focus region, as well as states across the country. Research topics on human trafficking vary greatly; however, this research considers existing laws in order to analyze current law enforcement and training efforts, along with suggestions stemming from interviews and surveys with professionals in the field, as well as outside research conducted nationally and internationally. Concept analysis was utilized to compare the combative efforts of differing locations and agencies against the suggestions and case studies analyzed from outside research. The methodology, combined with survey results, allowed for a collaboration of efforts and ideas that were generated into a comprehensive set of suggestions and implications for future research. Additionally, findings highlight the need for improved training and approach methods, an increased amount of cross-sector collaboration with law enforcement, and the possibility of implementing a “John’s” approach. In short, the research findings add to the existing body of knowledge on combating human trafficking with an emphasis on more effective laws and enforcement efforts within Kentucky and surrounding states.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-8-2018


Ryan K. Baggett

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Justice Studies

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)