There are around 100,000 arrests for prostitution in the U.S. each year. The numbers, however, are shifting as vice cops take to the Internet. The crackdown on Craigslist advertisement seems to correspond to a rise in police usage and rate of arrests, and the site itself collaborates using phone “authentication” and serious checks on the accounts of providers.
* The above image was taken from CBS.com
The spokesperson of Craigslist.com tells it like it is, “as is evident from news reports around the country, Craigslist actually makes it easier for police departments to conduct sting operations against prostitution rings. If you’re a prostitute or a potential john, you’re taking a big risk putting a listing on Craigslist, because we cooperate actively with police departments.’’
In a quick search of a news cache, I found randomized arrests in the past two months made through Craigslist in Philadelphia, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Saint Paul, Jefferson City, Ogden, Concord, Poughkeepsie, Santa Cruz, Escondido, Mobile, Queens, Manhattan, Rockford, Knoxville, Nashville, Louisville, Laurel, Salem, Milwaukee, Omaha, and Des Moines.
Out of these cases I speed tallied 126 sex workers and 74 johns, which places sex workers at a 3:2 risk of arrest against their employers. The listed arrests largely posed “women” as sex workers and “men” as johns, although we can’t be sure how many working men and transwomen were lost in the government shuffle.
It does seem, however, that women-born women are the main targets of Craigslist e-stings. All in all, sex workers advertising on Craigslist, and their employers, would do well to watch out.