by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that intense training to target and reduce human trafficking will be offered to county prosecutors across the state.

The expanded outreach will occur Thursday, June 28, at the Stonewall Resort as part of the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute’s summer meeting. Prosecutors and key personnel, including victim advocates, will receive the necessary skills to identify victims and eradicate this growing criminal industry.
“Prosecutors, victim advocates and every facet of the criminal justice system play a crucial role in the fight against human trafficking,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our office is committed to rescuing victims of this heinous crime. Without rescue these victims are reduced to property and forced into dangerous situations that may go undetected for years.”
The training will satisfy mandatory continued education requirements for prosecutors.
Changes in West Virginia law inspired the Attorney General to take the lead in combating this emerging crime. His office has conducted similar training sessions across the state for law enforcement, social service and child protective service workers, educators, health care professionals and the community at large.
The Attorney General also drafted best practices aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking among law enforcement communities.
The first-of-its-kind initiative in West Virginia has garnered broad support from law enforcement agencies across the state including the Ceredo Police Department, Charleston Police Department, Kenova Police Department, White Hall Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office and Cabell County Prosecuting Attorney Sean “Corky” Hammers among others.
Thursday’s training will begin at 8 a.m. at the Stonewall Resort. A session for victim advocates and support staff will be held in the afternoon.
Human trafficking is defined as commercial sex or labor that is induced by force, fraud or coercion. It is considered the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world today, second only to drug trafficking according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
West Virginia’s increased rate of drug addiction, poverty and its large number of children in foster care make the state especially susceptible to human trafficking.
The Attorney General believes the training offered by his office will equip attendees with the necessary resources to better identify suspicious activity and tackle this growing criminal industry.