A message from District Attorney Jeff Rosen
Welcome to my blog.
This is a place where I will write about important criminal justice issues, as well as smart justice policies.
As your District Attorney, my mission is to vigorously pursue justice in a way that is fair and treats everyone with respect.
For my first blog topic, let's discuss Human Trafficking. It's one of the most important criminal justice and moral issues of our time.
After the last Bronco or Panther fan flies home from our airports, and the lights went out at Levi's Stadium, a teenager will walk along a Bay Area street so that she can make money, for her trafficker.
A maid will be ordered to clean a bathroom or a worker will begin picking crops with no paycheck, no insurance - and no hope.
As much as we focused on Super Bowl Sunday, it is the other 364 days of this year that concern me. It's not a game. It's a rescue mission.
Human trafficking is a crime that "hides in plain sight." We see a person selling strawberries on the corner and there is nothing about that sight that automatically tells us whether that person is there voluntarily or not. Maybe we drive past, maybe we stop and buy some strawberries. Either way, we go on about our day.
We see a man walking with a young girl and there may be nothing about that scene that alerts us to the girl's victimization. Compare that to a drug trafficker. Someone is caught with a kilo of cocaine illegal contraband, and that person is arrested and prosecuted. Drug trafficking does not have the protective veil, the appearance of normalcy that human trafficking does.
We have trained airport workers, motel managers, and bus drivers to look out for subtle signs. We have banded our agencies together into task forces such as the South Bay Human Trafficking Task Force.
This task force worked to shut down illegal massage parlors in San Jose and broke up an indentured servitude scheme in Saratoga. Men and women were brought here from overseas and forced to work without being paid.
Human trafficking is too big a business, too profitable to go away on its own. It will not fade. It will fester. It will grown and pollute our communities and expose our children to risk unless we work together as a community to educate ourselves, investigate suspicious circumstances, and hold perpetrators accountable. Victims have been saved and traffickers brought to justice, but there is more work to do.
Personally, I'd like to see every human trafficker locked in a prison cell - where they can experience the loss of freedom they have inflicted on their victims.
Every person is a human being, with hopes, dreams, memories and rights - not a piece of property owned by someone else. Working together we will educate, investigate, not tolerate, and ultimately eradicate human trafficking.