You may not see it in your neighborhood, you may not even think it happens here. But so far this year, 50 women have been arrested in Lubbock for prostitution. But these aren't just numbers, they're daughters, mothers, sisters, and little girls.
Not only did NewsChannel 11 go to the part of town where prostitution is most common, we also met a Lubbock prostitute who is behind bars right now because of her choices. But to her it's not a choice, it's an addiction. So, how does someone get hooked on prostitution? In this case, she learned by example.
"Most kids get out of school, and they go play with their friends. I would just get out of school and go straight home and do what I was taught to do you know," says local prostitute, Linda Trevino Carbajal.
Carbajal is only 20-years-old, but some may say she's lived a long life. "It started back when I was 11 years-old. My mother was taken to prison, so I kind of went wild there. So I started using drugs, and from drugs I went to the streets," she says. "People say I'm out there you know prostituting, it's not really prostitution you know. I was doing dope, selling dope, just trying to get by," she says.
Linda may play with words when she describes her lifestyle, but the reality is she sold her body for drugs.
How easy is it to get drugs in Lubbock, how common is prostitution here? Everyday. So just how much truth is there to her statement? NewsChannel 11 took our hidden cameras to the streets to find out. Our photographer drove down Avenue Q, then 8th street near Avenue R, and in just 10 minutes, he made a deal. It was that simple.
One Lubbock Police officer works undercover prostitution stings and asked that we not reveal his identity. He says he's not surprised by what we found. In fact, he says it shows how prostitution is intertwined with another illegal activity: drugs. "Most of the prostitution deals are generally for $20, which is about what a crack rock is going for now. Obviously narcotics and prostitution do go hand in hand," he says.
Perhaps Linda's story is a true testament. "There's a lot of things happening out there over the drug. It's not over the money. It's over the drug," she says.
Linda says she walks the streets alone, and for her, everyday is a gamble. "It's very dangerous, I ask myself sometimes. I'm surprised I'm alive to this day. I've been through a lot. I've had my friends killed in front of me. I've seen a lot," Linda says.
At 20 years-old, Linda has been in and out of Lubbock County Jail a total of 39 times. "Last time, I was incarcerated for seven months. I was out for three days, and I was right back in. I'm living in a circle going round and round, I always end up here," she says.
But this time, Linda says, will in fact, be the last. "As long as I know, I'm turning my life around, that's all that matters. I know I'm going to do it," she says.
However, Lubbock Police say that they've heard it all before. "We've had one just recently I picked up last week and she told us the last time was the last time, and then we arrested her, and the last time before that was supposedly the last time," says one Lubbock Police officer.
Linda may move in with her dad in Midland, who's a minister. She says she wants to change her life, go back to school, and possibly get her GED. But if she stays in Lubbock, she's fearful she'll go back to her old ways. Linda received a 100 day sentence. She's already done 30 and has 70 days left in Lubbock County Jail.
If you're wondering why Linda decided to talk to us, she says she's hoping her story will have an impact on other young girls who might be headed down the same path she chose.