Lighthouse Launches in Florida

March 4, 2024

Allies Against Slavery chosen by the University of South Florida to combat human trafficking in Florida with Lighthouse.

A new partnership between Allies Against Slavery and the USF Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Risk to Resilience Research Lab on the St. Petersburg campus will establish a statewide repository for human trafficking data in Florida. 

Senate Bill 7064, passed in 2023 and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, made USF's TIP Lab the state repository for human trafficking data. Now a database called TIPSTR is being developed to collect and analyze anonymous human trafficking data to better understand the magnitude and trends in human trafficking across the state and over time to assist law-enforcement human trafficking investigations, address gaps in victim services to provide essential resources and develop prevention programs. The lab is also tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of state-funded initiatives to combat trafficking and work with law enforcement and state agencies to report data on human trafficking investigations and prosecutions.

TIP selected Allies Against Slavery as a partner to assist with the aggregation and visualization of data using Lighthouse, a robust software platform that has been successfully implemented statewide in Texas and Louisiana. Today, over 200 organizations and 2,000 field professionals use Lighthouse to identify victims of human trafficking, coordinate victim care, better understand patterns of human trafficking, evaluate programs and investments, and make more informed decisions. 

“Partnering with Allies to bring Lighthouse to Florida catalyzes our work with TIPSTR,” said Joan Reid, USF professor of criminology and director of the TIP Lab. “Using Lighthouse to create Florida’s version of a data dashboard will help us see, understand, and act upon the data collected through SB 7064.”

Lighthouse securely aggregates and dynamically visualizes over 10 million data items from a dozen sources, including service provider outcomes, victim screenings, law enforcement data, national hotline data, illicit massage business data, and publicly available socio-economic data. Allies will combine existing data in Lighthouse with new data from Florida to expand the data model and drive new insights. 

“We are honored to partner with the USF TIP Lab to bring Lighthouse to Florida,” said John Nehme, President and CEO of Allies Against Slavery. “SB 7064 is a great example of Florida’s leadership and commitment to combating human trafficking. Together with Lighthouse, we can ensure every community has the data they need to identify and prevent human trafficking.”