Human Trafficking
in Maryland
A Capital News
Service Investigation
About the Project

This project was produced for Capital News Service by reporters, researchers, data journalists, photographers and media law students attending the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Reporters from the Investigative Reporting and Baltimore Urban Affairs Reporting classes examined court files on more than three dozen state and federal human trafficking cases from the past decade.

Media law students submitted public records requests to 70 state and local jurisdictions in Maryland, including every county, for incident reports on human trafficking and prostitution. Montgomery and Prince George's county police departments refused to release the reports.

Jin Kim, a Capital News Service data reporter, analyzed a statewide database of human trafficking arrests and prosecutions.The database was obtained through a Public Information Act request to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services after extensive negotiations by Lisa Driscoll in the Investigative Reporting class.

Human trafficking policy officials in the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention had been trying to obtain the same database from the department for six months but had been unable to do so. Following Driscoll's inquiries, department spokesman Robert B. Thomas, Jr., said the database was provided to the Governor's Office this month.

Interested in learning more about human trafficking? Links to information and resources used in the project are provided at the bottom of the page.

About Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a student-powered news organization run by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. For nearly 25 years, CNS has provided deeply reported, award-winning coverage of issues of import to Marylanders while training the next generation of journalists.

With bureaus in College Park, Annapolis and Washington run by professional journalists, CNS journalists deliver news via partner news organizations who subscribe to the CNS wire, a destination Web site, a nightly on-air television newscast and affiliated social media channels (including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube). CNS provides breaking news coverage, in-depth investigative and enterprise journalism, and serve as a laboratory for students to test and develop innovative new methods of reporting and telling stories. Other classes at Merrill regularly collaborate with CNS to produce in-depth reports on important Maryland issues.

Read more about CNS.


This project was made possible by the support of the University of Maryland's Mpowering the State initiative, a research partnership between the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Additional support was provided by the Baltimore Sun and the Abell Foundation.

Site design and development by Merrill alumnus Sean Henderson.

Project Credits
Investigative Reporting Class Lisa Driscoll
Naomi Eide
Jessica Evans
Katelyn Secret
Alexis Jenkins
Melanie Kozak
Courtney Mabeus
Ana Mulero
Alexis Saunders
Ben Strack
Natalie Tomlin
Fatimah Waseem Baltimore Urban Affairs Reporting Class Jon Banister
Adam Barry
Mara Bernstein
Hayley Goodman
Carly Morales Capital News Service Jin Kim
James Levin Media Law Classes Tongwa Akanji Aka
Carlos Alfaro Rodriguez
Ryan Baillargeon
Adam Barry
Elena Baurkot
Dani Bozzini
Jordan Branch
Connor Brooks
Alexis Brown
Bradleigh Chance
Eli Davis
Sarah Dean
Omar DeBrew
Nicole Dei
Rachel Dooley
Nicole Ebanks
Matthew Ellentuck
Ryan Eskalis
Danielle Frontin
Verna Gibson
Dayna Gillespie
Alex Givan
Benjamin Harris
Bailey Hayek
Bethany Hooper
Andrew Horn
Giovanni Insignares
Jessie Karangu
Kai Keefe
Alexandra Kessel
Renee Klahr
Matt Kubisiak
Kevin LaFrancis
Sheng Chi Lim
Tisha Claudia Lim
Jessica Marquez
Brian Marron
Madison Martin
Alicia McElhaney
Timothy Meehan
Alec Milton
Miles Moore
Carly Morales
Jennifer Munoz
Janelle Netterville
Kaitlin Nizolek
Daisy-Nelly Ngum Nji
Danielle Ohl
Nicholas Pagliarulo
Alexandra Paonetti
Galen David Rende
Talia Richman
Zoe Sagalow
Lauren Sagl
Lena Salzbank
Javi Scott
Michael Siegel
Justina Nicole Simmons
Theresa Sintetos
Iman Smith
Eric Sumner
Erik Swann
Jacqueline Tanner
Tori Tanner
Nicole Tapiero
Colleen Toohey
Agnes Varghese
Kierstin Vermeulen
Taylor Watford
Daniel Weintraub
Joseph Zimmermann

Human trafficking resources

The project team compiled a list of resources to aid journalists and community groups interested in learning more about human trafficking on the national and local level.


Federal Laws

  • 18 USC 1581: Peonage.
  • 18 USC 1584: Involuntary servitude.
  • 18 USC 1589: Forced labor.
  • 18 USC 1590: Trafficking with respect to the above as well as slavery.
  • 18 USC 1591: Sex trafficking of children OR [adults or children] by force, fraud or coercion.
  • 18 USC 1592: Unlawful conduct with respect to documents in furtherance of the above.
  • 18 USC 2421: Transportation generally.
Federal Agencies




State Laws

  • Misdemeanor sex trafficking: CR 11-303a.
  • Felony sex trafficking of a child: CR11303B1.
  • Felony sex trafficking of an adult or child through force, fraud or coercion: CR11303B2. Note that this section of the law applies to trafficking of adults as well as children, even though some renditions erroneously make it appear as if it only applies to children.

State Agencies

County Task Forces


  • Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force Resource Directory: Statewide list of nonprofit and government resources from The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force; starts on page 14.
  • FAIR Girls: Washington, D.C.-based organization that provides services and advocates for human trafficking survivors.
  • Safe House of Hope: Baltimore-based organization that provides education, training and support services to human trafficking survivors.
  • TurnAround, Inc.: Towson-based organization that provides shelter and support services for domestic violence and human trafficking victims.