Media Name: screen_shot_2015-02-11_at_10.46.09_am.png
Shedding Light on America’s Underground Commercial Sex Economy

A report from the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center estimates that the underground commercial sex economy generates millions of dollars annually, yet the resources, political will, and public understanding to fully address the problem are lacking.

The study unveiled the scale of the underground commercial sex economy in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington, DC. The underground commercial sex economies of these eight cities were worth between $39.9 million and $290 million in 2007. Interviews with pimps, traffickers, sex workers, child pornographers, and law enforcement reveal the dynamics central to the underground commercial sex trade—and shape the policy suggestions to combat it. On March 19th, lead researcher Meredith Dank presented the report’s findings and, along with panelists, discussed its implications for both policymakers and practitioners.

Co-hosted by The Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking

  • Senator Rob Portman
  • Senator Richard Blumenthal​

​For inquiries regarding this event, please contact Daphne Bond-Godfrey at [email protected]


  • Nancy La Vigne, director, Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute (Moderator)
  • Meredith Dank, senior research associate, Urban Institute
  • Bradley Myles, executive director and CEO, Polaris Project
  • Bill Woolf, detective, Fairfax County Police Department
Date & Time Wednesday, March 19, 2014
2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
, DC , 20037
View Map

  • Consultant