The “get tough” policies became politically popular. The key players in the country’s legal system are elected positions in various levels of government (including local sheriffs, elected prosecutors, parole boards, executive clemency and pardoning authority, legislators voting on crime laws, etc.), which makes the . criminal justice system more politicized and more responsive to popular opinion, experts said. The United States also functions as 51 separate countries, because so many of the criminal justice decisions are made at the local and state levels.
Clearly worried about growing social pressure, the Voice attacked the antitrafficking campaign last month, charging that it has exaggerated the extent of the problem. The most common estimates, oft-repeated by major media, suggest that 100,000 to 300,000 children are trafficked in the United States every year. The Voice reported that this statistic identifies children at risk and claimed that the number of those who are actually trafficked is only a fraction of those figures. But the Voice ’s calculations were promptly dismissed as unreliable; Seattle’s mayor and police chief pointed out that their city alone is estimated to have hundreds of minors exploited for commercial sex, and they accused of acting as an “accelerant” of underage sex trafficking.