Southern California breaking news and trends

A new report says gangs find child prostitution a less risky form of business than drugs

Courtesy of L.A. Metro

A new billboard campaign calls for vigilance of child sex trafficking in L.A.

To most, street gangs are synonymous with the drug trade, but a new report from the National Gang Intelligence Center finds they're increasingly turning to juvenile prostitution for income. According to the report, made public Wednesday, prostitution is perceived as "lower risk" than the drug trade. The report points to examples all over this country, including several in Southern California, such as an Oceanside branch of the Crips that used Facebook, Craigslist, and Twitter to advertise runaways they'd forced into prostitution. Two of the members were sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. 

The report "assesses with medium confidence that based on trends observed in the past several years,  gangs will continue to expand their involvement in juvenile prostitution, while in some instances, minimizing their involvement in traditional drug distribution activities."