skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 245295   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Estimating the Size and Structure of the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in Eight Major US Cities
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Meredith Dank, Ph.D. ; Bilal Khan, Ph.D. ; P. Mitchell Downey ; Cybele Kotonias ; Deborah Mayer ; Colleen Owens ; Laura Pacifici ; Lilly Yu
Corporate Author: The Urban Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 03/2014
Page Count: 350
  Annotation: This study examined the size and structure of the underground commercial sex economy (UCSE) in eight major U.S. cities.
Abstract: The study estimates that the UCSE in the eight cities studied ranged from $39.9 to $290 million in 2007. In five of the cities, the size of the UCSE decreased between 2003 and 2007. There does not appear to be any connection between weapons trafficking and the UCSE in any of the eight cities, the overlap with drug trafficking varied by UCSE venue. In five of the study sites, gang involvement in sex trafficking and prostitution seems to be increasing. Pimps travel in circuits and use social networks to facilitate the transportation of employees to various locations for work. Pimps and sex workers both cited socioeconomic conditions as prominent in their becoming involved in the sex industry. Pimps use various forms of coercion and fraud in recruiting, managing, and retaining control over employees. The widespread availability of the Internet has expanded the reach of the sex market for both recruitment and advertisement. Across sites, criminal justice stakeholders believed that the UCSE was much larger than they were able to investigate due to resource constraints, lack of political will, or minimal public awareness of the prevalence of UCSE crimes. Child pornography was found to be an escalating problem. For offenders (production, distribution, and possession), the prevalence of online child pornography reinforces and normalizes child pornography offenses. Due to resource limitations, the least technologically sophisticated offenders are most likely to be detected. Based on study findings, 14 policy and practice implications are drawn. The study used a multi-method approach that involved both qualitative and quantitative data. The eight cities are San Diego, Seattle, Dallas, Denver, Washington, DC, Kansas City, Atlanta, and Miami. Extensive tables, 155 references, and appended study material and instruments
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Prostitution ; Urban area studies ; Sex offenses ; Computer related crime ; Child Pornography ; Child Sexual Abuse ; Offender profiles ; NIJ final report ; Expenditures and Employment
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2010-IJ-CX-1674
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Research (Applied/Empirical)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.