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Inside Criminal Justice

The Mann Act: Anatomy of a Law

April 2, 2012 04:22:00 am

By Lisa Riordan Seville

An image of a "white slave" adorned the cover of "Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls," published in 1910.

In the early years of the 20th century, nationwide hysteria about "white slavery"--selling white women into prostitution--led to a federal law banning interstate transport of women for "immoral purposes." Many years and several iterations later, the Mann Act is still in effect today. It has been applied to international sex trafficking cases and famously became a factor in the saga of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s secret dalliance with a New York City escort in Washington D.C.

Today, The Crime Report inaugurates an occasional series aimed at exploring the insights history offers to contemporary criminal justice scholars and policymakers, based on material drawn from the digitalized archives of the Lloyd Sealy Library at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Read the story here

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