(Opinion #38. Mar 24, 2008. Below is the complete 1-page newsletter. Also available as a pdf file and an html file.)

This is a 1-page flyer (Issue #38) distributed electronically at Family Court and the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas on March 24, 2008. The full issue is shown above. It is also available here as a PDF File and an html file. (For authenticity, the newsletter should be printed on canary (yellow) paper.)

NOTE: Due to high printing costs, distribution of this issue on paper will be very limited, but you are welcome to print it yourself and give it to whomever you like.

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  • Teen prostitution scourge grows: Special court tries to help youngsters, not punish them, Las Vegas Sun, 1/7/07

      Voy, the public defender's office and others say one big component has been missing: a "safe house" or group home for the girls to stay in after their arrests but before their cases and those of their pimps - against whom they often are asked to testify - are decided.

      A safe house could protect the girls, advocates say, and allow them to start receiving treatment and counseling to allow them to try to break free from their pimps' often strong emotional grips.

      Now, most girls awaiting resolutions to their cases - a period that can amount to weeks or even months - stay at the county's Juvenile Detention Center, something that only "revictimizes" the girls, advocates say.

      "We need to find a place outside of Juvie that's secure," Chief Deputy Public Defender Susan Roske said. "We desperately need this program."

      A safe house almost was created a year ago. A home in a residential neighborhood was found and security equipment had been donated by businesses. But the plan was scuttled early by the new director of Juvenile Justice Services, Cherie Townsend, who concluded that other resources, such as WestCare, weren't being sufficiently used, and that there weren't enough girls in need of a safe house to justify funding the program.

  • Officials Seek Funding to Help Underage Prostitutes, KLAS-TV, 2/5/08

      Although the system is supposed to treat them like victims, most show up to court in shackles. Each of these girls has a story of lost innocence that will break your heart. If you hear it enough, it may burn you out. ...

      For Christina, Voy creates a short term, therapeutic foster home. Long-term, for the others like her, Voy imagines what he calls a "safe house." ...

      A "secure residential assessment center" to satisfy the needs of the girls -- and the system.

      "We want the girls out of detention. This seems like the perfect answer," said Juvenile Public Defender Susan Roske.

      The Juvenile Public Defender and the Juvenile District Attorney support the project, but with Clark County resources strapped, it will take private dollars to make it reality. ...

      Supporters of the safe house propose a public/private partnership. It will take $2 million in private money to build the facility. He then hopes to staff it with county employees.

  • Las Vegas Named Major Destination For Sex Trafficking of Minors, KLAS-TV, 3/25/08. Also: Trafficking report cites LV problems: City lacks safe houses, programs for child victims, Review-Journal, 3/25/08. These news reports happened to be broadcast/published the day after our newsletter.

      Child prostitutes are arrested every month in Las Vegas. It's big business done in the shadows -- back rooms and in the hotels. Now, a new report confirms the prostitution of minors is a major problem in Las Vegas.

      There is no way to put exact numbers on how many children are involved, but the women's crisis group, Shared Hope, tried to shed light on the extent of the sex trafficking of minors. The organization provided these interviews with child prostitutes as well as traffickers to highlight the problem. ...

      Nationwide, 100,000 to 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation. The average age for children to be sold into prostitution is 12 to 14. Here in Clark County, 30-percent of victims were sold for sex by family members.

      Our county also has the highest number of juvenile prostitution cases in the U.S. The study found that one third of the minors trapped into prostitution in Las Vegas are from here. Two thirds are from 40 different states and brought here to be bought.

  • Also see our Other Newsletters

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