For decades, law enforcement agencies have tried to combat prostitution by focusing (and thereby arresting and punishing) the prostitutes, instead of the johns who use them or the pimps who sell and exploit them.
The Human Trafficking Task Force in Orange County, CA, one of 42 such federally funded task forces across the country, is trying to change that. Local law enforcement leaders and the FBI are finally going after the pimps--the people who coerce and force girls and women into sex trafficking. By arresting one pimp, officers can free at least three to four girls, and because pimping carries a mandatory 3-year sentence in California, these rescued girls are given a chance at freedom. Partnering with local nonprofits and service agencies, the task force also works to help these girls and women rebuild their lives, giving them choices for the first time in years, and the opportunities and resources to create their own futures.
More from CNN's Freedom Project: http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/09/pimps-feed-on-twisting-californian-dream/?hpt=hp_c1
For more information on the FBI's human trafficking initiatives and the various task forces across the country, visit Innocence Lost.