The Trap

The Trap

2018, Crime  -   13 Comments
Ratings: 8.21/10 from 71 users.

Sex trafficking is a global plague. As mainstream awareness of the crime continues to expand, authorities are zeroing in on the venues by which these shifty predators lure their prey. "The Trap", an absorbing documentary from The Guardian, profiles one such venue: American prisons.

This sobering film is the result of an intensive year-long investigation. It exposes a widespread operation of abuse and solicitation that dominates in regions all across the country.

When a young woman is sentenced for a drug or solicitation offense, their personal information is entered into a national database. This information is widely accessible, and might include the prisoner's name, age, criminal record and expected release date. Traffickers comb these databases, target the subjects they believe would be most profitable to them, establish a relationship through letters, and groom them for eventual recruitment. They garner their victim's trust and loyalty, and promise them a future of security and unconditional love.

In reality, once released, these inmates walk into a world of continued drug abuse and prostitution under the thumb of a controlling pimp.

"They know that we're weak and desperate at that point," says one inmate as she first learns of the scheme. Yearning for genuine affection and faced with limited possibilities after their release, these women are susceptible to a predator's fraudulent empathy and support.

The filmmakers speak with women who have lived through the horrors of prison-based sex trafficking and others who are currently being targeted. Correctional officers blow the whistle on some of the methods predators use to target their prey, and expose a negligent system of law enforcement that enables these traffickers to flourish in their criminal enterprises. In another segment, incarcerated sex traffickers testify to the ease with which they operated from the outside of the penal system to target their victims.

"The Trap" also devotes much attention to the case of Richard Rawls, a 75-year old trafficker in Orlando, FL who collected a harem of over two dozen women from area prisons. Much like the film, his 2014 arrest shed a much needed light on this increasingly familiar crime of sleaze and exploitation.

Directed by: Annie Kelly, Mei-Ling McNamara

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13 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Mike Ehrmantraut

    Epstein DID NOT kill himself and the people that did him are on the client list....

  2. Ian Bell

    If you are a drug-taking prostitute........message from this video is......IT'S EVERYONE ELSE'S FAULT!!!! Total BS of yet another 'victim factory media'. How about individuals taking responsibility for their own decisions????

    1. Judy Doolittle

      But you do not know their state of mind. When you are a little girl and a man rapes you and then you start doing drugs to self medicate then one thing leads to another. Before you know you are caught in a vicious cycle. A little girl are boy is not responsible for sexual abuse.

    2. Alesha

      Ian - Please educate your ignorant mind. Sex trafficking is not a choice. These are victims - they include children - boys and girls, adults - men & women. Who do you think fuels this infamous industry? MEN. MEN. MEN.

    3. Mary

      If a woman really wants to voluntarily be a sex worker, she should go to Nevada where it is legal and protected - no parasitic pimps. Now that is a choice. She won't be a victim but a savvy business woman.

  3. Janet Balk

    I find it interesting, but not surprising, that the two judgmental comments are made by men. Gentlemen, prostitution exists because there are people, predominately men, who are seeking out sex for money. If you are going to be harshly judgmental, then be similarly harsh on the johns who buy the sex. Often the women go to jail and the men (the pimps and johns) face no legal consequences.

    1. Ian Bell

      If women DECIDED NOT to sell their souls and sell their bodies for money, there would be nowhere for men to buy sex from now would there?? Its hardly the man's fault, regardless how much propaganda you have been force fed recently, in this ongoing political attack against men.

  4. Mark Gaboury

    Like these women didn't do anything wrong? This doc is out of balance. The girls have it good in prison too. "A whore is a deep ditch" (The Bible.)

    1. Cindy

      Mark - It is men who fuel the sex industry - supply and demand. If there was no demand for prostitutes, there would be no prostitution. It is men who keep the billion dollar sex industry going. Don't quote me the bible - pure fiction & fantasy. Use real facts!

  5. sarei

    god bless them ,,, tese girls needs it the most .

  6. Jim Jefferies

    "These women are not criminals, they are victims." That's like saying a fat person is the victim of food... In reality we choose how much "food" we eat...

  7. Diana Lee

    VERY BRAVE women who were willing to tell their stories!

  8. Kevin Rochlin

    The |Guardian.
    Where is their documentary on British Elite pedophilia activity. The 160 British MP's registered as Sex Offenders.
    This documentary is weak.
    The truth of the concealment UK sex trafficking is a scandal the Guardian participates in through it's lack of exposing it's reality.
    UK journalism is dead.
    The Guardian is bought and sold entity just like the BBC.