Maass Awarded NSF Grant to Study Resource Allocation to Disrupt Human Trafficking Networks
MIE Assistant Professor Kayse Lee Maass is a co-principal investigator on a $535K NSF grant, titled, “ISN2: Disrupting Human Trafficking via Needs Matching and Capacity Expansion.” The interdisciplinary award is in collaboration with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (lead) and John Jay College of Criminal Justice and will study the efficient allocation of resources over time to disrupt human trafficking networks.
A key, and largely understudied, means to disrupt human trafficking is by reducing the supply of potential victims through a better understanding of the critical role that housing plays in individual vulnerability. In order to reduce the population at risk of being trafficked (or re-trafficked), the project provides a need-based prevalence estimation of homeless youth in New York City and an optimization-based approach to determine the most efficient use of scarce shelter and service resources.
Shelter and associated rehabilitative services disrupt human trafficking networks by decreasing future vulnerability and recidivism for those at-risk of trafficking. This award will help guide a long-term, cost-effective intervention approach by developing an optimal policy for the deployment of marginal temporal housing and services capacity.