There’s hypocrisy in the U.S. criminal justice system. If an adult has sex with a child, the child is a victim. But if that same child accepts money for sex, the child is, in many states, a criminal.

James Dold, ’06 BA Criminal Justice and Psychology, can’t let that injustice go unchallenged.

“It’s a conflict in the law where a child who can’t legally consent to have sex can still be prosecuted for prostitution,” Dold said. “We place restrictions on children and have criminal laws to protect them from bad influences and those who would prey on them.” But then we turn them into criminals, he said. And sometimes we make sure those mistakes follow them for life.

Dold is the advocacy director for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. He’s been in Washington, D.C., since getting his law degree from the University of Maryland, but his work has taken him across the country — and back to Nevada. In 2013, he successfully lobbied for a state law that increased the penalties for pimps who traffic children. The law passed.

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By Michael Blasky May 19, 2015