California Governor Signed Bills Decriminalizing Child Prostitution

Samantha Cirillo

In California, the law on prostitution is beginning to shift away from prosecuting the children and young women that may have been forced into the industry. This is largely a result of organizations such as “Saving Innocence” and “Rights4Girls”, and their efforts to show that minors are victims, not criminals. [1]

On Monday, August 26, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown addressed these widespread concerns by signing several bills that decriminalize prostitution and provide protections and services for minor victims. [2] One of the bills, Senate Bill 1322, was created to make “the crimes of solicitation and loitering with intent to commit prostitution misdemeanors inapplicable to children younger than 18”. [3] The bill also allows law enforcement to take children into temporary custody if leaving them unattended would involve a threat to their safety. [4]

Another bill passed will make it easier for minors to share their painful experiences by allowing them to testify through closed-circuit televisions outside of the courtroom. [5]

[1] Mike McPhate, California Today: A Shift in the Child Sex Trafficking Trade, NY T???? (Oct. 3, 2016)

[2] Jazmine Ulloa, California decriminalizes prostitution for minors after Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills to aid trafficking victims, L?? A?????? T???? (Sept. 26, 2016)

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.