House of Representatives
State of Tennessee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2017
Contact: Doug Kufner (615) 741-1875
Representative Coley Secures Funding To End Human Trafficking In Tennessee
(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Jim Coley (R-Bartlett) has secured $550,000 in state funding to help end human trafficking in Tennessee.
The funding is part of the fiscally conservative $37 billion balanced budget that was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly earlier this month. The monies will be equally shared among the following non-profit organizations:
· End Slavery Tennessee (Nashville)
· Second Life (Chattanooga)
· Grow Free Tennessee (Knoxville)
· Restore Corps (Memphis)
These funds will help trained professionals to better identify possible victims, improve prevention programs for at-risk youth, address the need for systemic changes across our state, and provide comprehensive and specialized care for survivors.
In Tennessee, approximately 94 teenagers fall victim to human trafficking each month. However, the state has some of the toughest laws against this type of crime in the entire country.
According to Shared Hope International, Tennessee ranks second among all 50 states for legislation that combats human trafficking. Much of that success can be traced to the steady work of local lawmakers — including Representative Coley — who have given a voice to human trafficking victims in the Tennessee General Assembly.
“I am appreciative that Governor Haslam has made this investment as we work to end human trafficking in Tennessee once and for all,” said Representative Coley. “Too often, our children are taken advantage of, tormented or even sold to individuals who do not have their best interests in mind. The ultimate goal of these grants is to support the comprehensive services that will help victims recover while we continue our work to strengthen the penalties against offenders and hold them accountable for their actions.”
Jim Coley serves as a member of the House Finance Ways & Means Committee and Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Criminal Justice Committee. Coley lives in Bartlett and represents House District 97, which includes part of Shelby County. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Jim.Coley@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-8201.