Boston 25 News reporter Malini Basu went undercover with officers to witness the problem first hand.
In most cases, it seemed the women involved were looking for quick cash. The town of Southbridge has just 20, residents, but police there told Boston 25 News their small town has been hit hard by the opioid crisis too. They told Basu many of the overdose victims there were prostitutes.
The Southbridge Housing Authority, which houses the elderly and disabled, was a popular hang-out for prostitutes according to residents we spoke with. Southbridge Police Chief Shane Woodson witnessed the uptick of prostitution here after Back closed. In Worcester, neighbors near Clark University tell Boston 25 News they encounter prostitution on a daily basis.
Sean Murtha from the Worcester Police Department. Inthe city of Boston received a federal grant to investigate the seriousness of the prostitution problem, and to pay for training to help women trapped in the cycle.
Judge Kathleen Coffey is building a program in Boston to try to help the women. She is bringing a wide group of community leaders together, from police, to prison officials, to religious leaders, to find better ways to break the cycle of addiction and get these women off the streets.
Cities and towns see surge in prostitution in surprising places across state.