Over the past year, about 25,000 girls and women in the Chicago area were recruited for or coerced into the commercial sex industry—and the number of such victims is steadily increasing.
How has human trafficking become such a big business here? What can be done to stem the tide of sexual exploitation?
Top law enforcement officials and representatives of social service agencies will examine this most vexing local issue on Tuesday, October 7, during the panel discussion Human Trafficking: Here and Now at Elmhurst College.
Elmhurst College Associate Professor Katrina Sifferd, chair of the College’s philosophy department, will moderate the discussion. Panelists include Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart; Elyse Dobney, volunteer manager and trafficking specialist for The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT: Initiative Against Human Trafficking program; immigration judge Jennie Giambastiani; and Dr. Dan Lustig, vice president of clinical services for the Haymarket Center.
Human Trafficking: Here and Now will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 7, in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tickets are available online or at the door, depending on demand. For more information, call (630) 617-3390.
More about the speakers:
- Katrina Sifferd is a philosopher interested in criminal responsibility and punishment. Her research focuses on scientific explanations of decision-making and action, and the way they intersect with criminal culpability. Professor Sifferd holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of London, King’s College. She also has a Juris Doctorate and worked as a senior research analyst on criminal justice projects for the National Institute of Justice. She is the author of numerous articles, including “On the Criminal Culpability of Successful and Unsuccessful Psychopaths,” co-authored with Elmhurst College Professor of Philosophy William Hirstein.
- Elyse Dobney received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds an undergraduate degree from Elmhurst College (Class of 2007). As the volunteer manager and trafficking specialist for The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT: Initiative Against Human Trafficking, Dobney raises community awareness about human trafficking and trains community service providers, law enforcement and medical personnel on the subject. She also provides direct support to victims of trafficking in order to help them establish self-sufficient lives.
- Jennie Giambastiani was appointed in 2002 by the United States attorney general to serve as a judge for the Immigration Court at Chicago. While dedicated to all facets of her position, she says she derives the most professional satisfaction from her work as the presiding immigration judge over the unaccompanied alien children’s docket for the Chicago Immigration Court.
- Dan Lustig, Psy.D., is the vice president of clinical services at Haymarket Center, Chicago’s largest community-based, not-for-profit provider of comprehensive substance abuse treatment services. He has more than 20 years of experience implementing quality substance abuse programs. Specialty programming under his oversight includes women who are victims of human trafficking; pregnant and postpartum women under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Jail; and adult men and women with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
- Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has brought an aggressive yet innovative approach to law enforcement. A former prosecutor and state legislator, Sheriff Dart has long fought to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Since becoming sheriff in 2006, he has introduced sweeping changes at the Cook County Jail, restructured the Sheriff’s Police force and improved operations of the Court Services Department.