This anthology of original research studies focuses on why and how sex workers and pimps quit the sex trade. There is an extensive literature on ‘desistance’ with different theories explaining why people quit crime. However, with a few notable exceptions, researchers to date have not focused on desistance among pimps and sex workers. These studies explore a spectrum of quitting the sex trade from voluntarily stopping, ‘drifting,’ and retiring; to intervention-based or coerced stopping due to influences and impositions by programs and/or by specialized courts.

This book provides insight into the meaning of this work; how people in the sex trade view their engagement in licit/illicit spheres; and it will inform providers who interface with people from these communities regarding how to support desistance. Further this book may help those engaged in emerging topics related to the sex trade, including: (1) global trends in sex trade decriminalization and/or human trafficking criminalization, (2) the recent emergence of human trafficking intervention courts in the USA, and (3) the development (and impact) of new laws, policies, and intervention programs designed to reduce human trafficking (globally, regionally, country level) and/or more localized efforts to support desistance among participants in the sex trade.

The book will be of interest to academics, researchers and advanced students of Criminology, Sociology, Law, Policy, and Psychology. It was originally published as a special issue in the journal Victims & Offenders.

chapter |26 pages

Harlem Pimps’ Reflections on Quitting: External and Internal Reasons

ByAmber Horning, Lyndsay Thompson, Christopher Thomas

chapter |19 pages

The Recursive Relationship between Substance Abuse, Prostitution, and Incarceration: Voices from a Long-Term Cohort of Women

ByRonet Bachman, Samantha Rodriguez, Erin M. Kerrison, Chrysanthi Leon