Fellow Inquirer reporter Carolyn Davis has an intriguing story in today's paper highliting a growing debate about the treatment of juveniles in the sex trade. Are they victims or criminals?
The story focuses on Bensalem, which recently locked up and charged a 17-year-old girl after she was freed from sex traffickers. She has since been trasnferred from a juvenile detention center to a facility where she's receiving services.
Some law enforcement officials argue the only way for these kids to get services is to initially charge them. But others say locking them up traumatizes them yet again.
A growing number of states are outlawing authorities from charging juvenile sex trade victims with a crime. Lawmakers in Harrisburg are considering a bill that would require law enforcement officials to always treat juveniles as victims.