Some of you may have heard, some of you may have not, but California decriminalized child prostitution. Which is different than legalizing it by a fraction. The difference is the kid cannot be arrested for prostitution, but the clients and pimps can still be charged for crimes. Sounds great, right? I mean I think it's safe to say that many of these kids are victims and are forced to do it. Most are probably trafficked. Everything looks like it's going to help these girls, but I don't think it will in the long run.
There's a couple problems I see with this. One, the cops can no longer ask the girl or boy who their pimp is, where he or she is, and how many girls and boys they have at their disposal. They have no right to ask the kid because the kid is not under arrest and cannot be questioned. I doubt the kid will just volunteer that sort of information because the pimp most likely threatened them with their life and/or their families lives. Two, the pimps no longer have to worry about losing their "product" (I hate to think about those boys and girls like that, but that's basically what they are to a pimp). They can now flood the streets with their "product" because they won't loose any of it. If they get caught, sure the client will go to jail, but the kid will be back and ready for their next client within the hour. And now because the streets are flooded with young girls and boys, it can become a haven for pedophiles.
As sad as it is I say we still charge them with prostitution, but, this is a very big but, we treat the kids as victims, because they are being charged with a crime that gives the police legal right to hold them and question them. Two very important things if they want to find this pimp and shut him down, because now they can talk to the kid and earn their trust over a length of time and most importantly you offer the kid a deal. All charge are dropped and previous offenses (or at the very least other prostitution offenses) are expunged, but only if they turn on the pimp. If they don't then yes they'll go to jail, but the deal still stands while they're in jail, when they're out, and if they get caught again up until their 18th birthday. After they turn on the pimp, you give the kids the best support out there so they can get their feet under them and not turn back to prostitution. So they know there's more out there than degrading themselves and selling their body.
If we want to help these kids and stop them from becoming victims we have to stop the pimps and this law just encourages them. Now we can't get to the pimps. The police can't follow the kids back because if I'm not mistaken you need probable cause to do that and because child prostitution was decriminalized the cops don't have probable cause because the kid is not or will not be committing a crime. The police can't question the kid because again they don't have probable cause anymore. That's the problem with this law, it's just enabling the pimps. I think it's going to do more harm than good.
I guess the biggest question I have about this all is, where do we draw the hard line? Decriminalized prostitution for kids, why don't we decriminalize it for adults? Hey, you know what? They're adults they know what they're doing. Why don't we just legalize prostitution? Well if adults can do it why can't kids do it? And boom child prostitution is now legal. Before any of you say, "That'll never happen!" You give a little here, you give a little there. You keep giving that little bit and then all of a sudden you're in a deep dark hole that you have no idea how you got there.