AirTalk for July 18, 2012

Walking the tracks: KPCC series examines sex-trade in Los Angeles

Walnut Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Maria waits for clients on Pacific Blvd in Walnut Park. She has been working this same street for over thirty years.

Lankershim prostituion protest

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

How can the problem of prostitution in neighborhoods like Lankershim Boulevard be solved?


From South L.A. to the San Fernando Valley and points in between, police estimate there are 17 different prostitution "tracks" in Los Angeles.

Residents and businesses near those tracks say sex solicitation is a crime against the neighborhood. Johns and prostitutes are often in a revolving door from the streets to arrests and back to the street.

Erika Aguilar, KPCC crime and safety reporter, toured the track along Lankershim Boulevard in Sun Valley. Neighbors encounter sex-trade workers in fast food joints and parking lots.

KPCC's Ruxandra Guidi reported on a similar pattern in Walnut Park. There community activists ask police to crack down. But police say they're stretched thin. Gang activity and violence are a bigger priority.

Other than arrests, what systemic solutions exist for johns, prostitutes and residents? What effect would decriminalization or legalization of sex solicitation have?

Guests:

Erika Aguilar, Crime & Safety Reporter, KPCC

Ruxandra Guidi, Immigration & Emerging Communities Reporter, KPCC


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