Black River Technical College’s Law Enforcement Training Academy Director Jared Bassham was recently appointed to Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders Human Trafficking Task Force.
He was also appointed to the task force’s education subcommittee.
On February 14, 2023 Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order to prevent human trafficking and to protect the children and youth of Arkansas. A complete copy of the order can be found at
According to, millions of women, men, and children are trafficked annually. Since its inception in 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline ( has established 557 cases of human trafficking in Arkansas. From these cases, the hotline identified 1,492 victims. However, Arkansas ranks 35th in convictions. A recent Human Trafficking Institute report ( showed only two federal convictions in 2019 and one conviction in the previous year. According to the Administrative Office of the Courts, one human trafficking case conviction was recorded in the past two years on the state level. Additionally, eleven new cases were filed during the same period.
Although the number of identified cases and victims has increased in the past decade, new criminal cases have stagnated in the last two years. Prosecutors have highlighted the challenges they face when going after human trafficking cases. Notably, the numbers of calls to hotlines and the reported number of cases are low. There is a need to understand what is going on in the public and make sure that law enforcement understands the complexity of human trafficking.
According to, the Human Trafficking Act of 2013 required the Attorney General to establish the Arkansas Human Trafficking task force ( to address every aspect of human trafficking in Arkansas. The latter includes forced labor trafficking and sex trafficking of United States citizens alongside foreign nationals.
The task force developed a state plan to prevent trafficking, work to improve information sharing among
governmental and non-governmental organizations that deal with the issue, raise public awareness of human trafficking, and create a training curriculum for law enforcement officials.