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Director and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Co-Director of the Violence and Justice Research Lab

Professor Amy Farrell’s research is aimed at understanding and describing how the criminal justice system administers justice. Over the past decade she has focused much of her scholarly attention on understanding how the criminal justice system responds to the newly prioritized crimes such as human trafficking. Although not a new phenomenon, human trafficking was criminalized by the federal government in 2000. Since that time all fifty states have passed laws outlawing the practice of human trafficking and devoting resources to its identification and eradication. In support of this research, she has studied and published research about how local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies identify, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking cases.

Additionally, she has completed research projects examining labor trafficking victimization of both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals residing in the U.S. She also has conducted numerous studies examining how changes in state and federal human trafficking laws impact the identification and prosecution of human trafficking offenders. As part of this body of work, Professor Farrell has sought to understand how the public views the problem of human trafficking and what responses they expect from state and federal governments to address the problem. She testified about police identification of human trafficking before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. She was also appointed to the Massachusetts Attorneys General Human Trafficking Policy Task Force and currently serves on the Governors Working Group on Human Trafficking in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In addition to studying criminal justice system responses to human trafficking victimization, Professor Farrell has examined how variable levels of racial group and gender representation among court workgroups relate differences in charging, adjudication, and sentencing.

View CV
  • Understanding the Physical and Psychological Health and Wellness Needs of Minor Sex Trafficking Victims (January, 2021-December 31, 2023), Principal Investigator, National Institute of Justice, Grant # 2020-VT-BX-0111 ($955,786)
  • Understanding the Trafficking of Children for the Purpose of Labor in the United States (January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022), Principal Investigator, National Institute of Justice, Grant # 2019-VT-BX-0038 ($664,690).
  • De Vries, Ieke and Amy Farrell (2022) Explaining the use of traditional law enforcement responses to human trafficking concerns in illicit massage businesses.  Justice Quarterly. doi: 10.1080/07418825.2022.2051587


  • Lockwood, Sarah*, Amy Farrell, Carlos Cuevas and Jesenia Robles.* (2022) Bias crime and victimization among Latinx adults: Formal and informal help seeking. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi: 10.1177/08862605211072175.


  • Kafafian, Matthew, Ieke de Vries, Amy Farrell, Susan Goldfarb, Elizabeth Bouchard. 2021. Understanding factors associated with re-referral of youth for commercial sexual exploitation. Child Abuse and Neglect, 117.


  • Cuevas, Carlos, Amy Farrell, Jack McDevitt, Jesenia Robles, Sarah Lockwood, Isabel Geisler, Julie Van Westendorp, Jeff Temple, and Sheldon Zhang. 2021. Hate crime and bias victimization of Latinx adults: Rates from a multisite community sample. Psychology of Violence. 11(6): 529–538.





  • Mentor of the Year Award, American Society Criminology, 2014
  • W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship on crime, justice and culture, co-recipient, National Institute of Justice, 2006
  • Graduate Research Fellowship, National Institute of Justice, 1999
  • Education

    PhD, Law, Policy and Society, Northeastern University, 2001

  • Contact

  • Address

    204 Churchill Hall
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

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