Modern slavery: how we exposed deadly sex trafficking in US prisons

Landmark Guardian investigation, produced over 18 months, examines how US sex traffickers recruit jailed women for prostitution


The Guardian
Modern slavery: how we exposed deadly sex trafficking in US prisons

In January of 2017, we sat in a nondescript hotel room in Orlando Florida and listened while Kate (we’ve changed her name at her request) calmly described how in 2014 she was recruited and trafficked out of a state prison by a convicted sex offender and self-styled “super-pimp” Richard Rawls.

After being promised a relationship and somewhere safe to stay, Kate instead left one prison for another. She spent months locked inside Rawl’s house with a group of other women – all also former inmates – who were being controlled with drugs and violence and forced to prostitute themselves to make him money.

It was a shocking story, and one that we would hear over and over again over the following year as we investigated how prisons and jails across the US have become lucrative recruiting grounds for pimps and sex buyers in America’s thriving domestic sex trafficking industry. The work culminated in our documentary, The Trap, which exposes the systematic pattern of grooming and recruitment of women prisoners by pimps and sex buyers in the US.

Kate, featured in documentary, at a park near her home in Casselberry, Florida.

Read more at UK Guardian



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  1. As usual, in the Guardian piece on U.S. sex-traffickers, guess which Hue the “pimp” was who they featured? Blacks are always the “#1” bad-guys, like they can fund, conduct international trafficking! This is why with all the troubles “bad” Blacks cause innocent nonBlacks, Blacks can’t get ReSegregated, or Back-to-Afrika, like Mexicans get to Mexico.

  2. C’mon, all the more reason the Black and poor are tactically targeted for imprisonment, stints. The US is a “closed air” prison.

  3. I may seem not original, but we had not a single shadow of such social nightmares, in USSR. I suspect, USA also was not such pervert during 60-70-80s. But to see such horrors occur now…The hair starts to move at head. I’m sorry, but American Dream became a pitiful dellusion… So… Talking is talking, but where is the recipe to stop this?

  4. We do not teach self-worth, self-value, self-responsibility.
    I read the article and poor little Kate . . . looking for “love” . . . in all the wrong places.
    The Greatest Love of All . . . poor little Whitney sang it, made a bunch of money singing about it, but couldn’t find it herself.
    We have an entire world that has been programmed to believe whatever we want is found . . . outside our own being
    We’ve had teachers that tried to get us on the right path . . . they always kill those messengers, don’t they?

    I like JohnZ’s comment. FINALLY a part of the equation is nailed and jailed.
    This abuse is done because of one thing . . . another person (typically male) BUYING / PAYING.
    They are never shamed, or held accountable, for the most part.
    It’s always society blaming the victim.
    It’s always society jailing the victim, and offering nothing for them. The devil sure does have work for idle hands . . .
    This article was a little kinder, but I don’t see any information on the people (typically male) who are doing the PURCHASING.
    Where is their responsibility in any of this?
    Where is their accountability in any of this?
    Seems to me . . . if the BAIL PROCESS is FLAWED, and while everyone knows the pimp is bailing out his next victim . . . then the JAIL and the county, city, states is COMPLICIT in the release. They are releasing someone to a person (typically a male) who is going to do what their cutesy little graph is depicting?!?!?

    • This “industry” exists because there are even sicker psychos PAYING to have their junk go through the jiffy lube for $19.95.
      IT’S DISGUSTING. IT’S TAWDRY . . . but where is society?

      The “Quick Facts” box in the linked article states that prostitution is illegal. Okay, we get that.
      But again, the female gets nailed and jailed, and then put back into the system.

      There’s money in this . . . for the detention centers. I’m sure GEO, the privately held, corporate global detention/correctional enterprise that charges $750/per head/night . . . couldn’t care less!
      They’re the biggest pimps.

      We spend money on the military.
      So we don’t have the money for our teachers, schools, out-reach centers.
      From our President on down . . . the trickle down theory of a jiffy lewd . . . and idolatrous/adulterous society.

      He sexualized our daughters — (“I’ll date her in 10 years” — “her” being a TEN YEAR OLD GIRL. Why was he even thinking that?!? Where was his mind? Looking at a little girl and wanting to “date” her?! — And they erected him.

      This is a cheap society. Sodom and Gomorrah ain’t nothing! Pompeii . . . just a start.
      This tawdry sexual exchange has been in society for centuries, and we revert back to it . . . and glorify the dancing girls. All hail Queen B . . . if you love it, put a ring on it. Best love song of the 21st Century.
      {rolling eyes}

      And we expect something different?

    • You can ride through South Baltimore and West Baltimoe and for $20 have your way, Heroin, MRSA, untreatable std’s third generation Heroin addicts. No living male relatives. It is right here; Jesus, there is no God here. Whatever you see on TV is bullshit.

  5. It’s not just prisons where women are targeted; Section 8 housing, HUD is ripe with the same predators. At least here in Baltimore. Heroin, prostitution, criminal gangs; I’m sure the same pattern is repeated across the country.

  6. Can America sink any lower? How much further can America fall? It seems there is no end to the degeneracy and depravity that has taken this nation to where it now is. Those in power need to be purged.
    Something similar to this occurred up here in Antrim County, Michigan where the county jail turnkey was offering more time outside in exchange for sex. His mistake was he would go to one of his victims home , bring her back to his house for sex. he finally got caught and with the testimony of other female inmates he was sent to prison. His wife divorced him. No home, forced to register as a sexual predator and no prospects for any gainful employment, he brought it on himself. I have no sympathy for that little creep.

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