The "track", also called a "blade" or "stroll",  is a particular area or street in a city that is well known for prostitution.

the track/blade/stroll

Pimps usually target women who are in need of financial support, safety, and personal relationships.  Women are at a heightened risk of being recruited by a pimp when there is economic crisis, drug addiction, or previous sexual assault.

how does trafficking  into street  prostitution work?

Bureau of Justice Statistics, Banks, D., & Kyckelhahn, T., U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (2011). U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from



Minorities are disproportionately affected by sex trafficking. Based on cases in which race was known, the U.S. Department of Justice found that 74% of victims in confirmed sex trafficking cases were Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian. 

Potterat, J. J., Brewer, D. D., Muth, S. Q., Rothenburg, R. B., Woodhouse, D. E., Muth, J. B., Stites, H. K., & Brody, S. (2004). Mortality in a long-term open cohort of prostitute women. American Journal of Epidemiology, 159(8), 778–785.

During a person's time in prostitution, violence is the norm. The death rate is 240 times higher than any other profession.



Farley, M., & Barkan, H. (1998). Prostitution, violence, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Women & Health, 27(3), 37–49.



Types of assault include being punched, strangled, slashed with razor blades and burned with cigarettes.

Rules of pimping note found by our intervention teams on the track in Houston. 

Dating the women is often the first step to recruiting. This gives the pimp a chance to see if he is comfortable with the girl and assess her personality. This also helps measure her sexual willingness.    Girls are often broken in on the track. Even if the pimp deals more with online services, they will make the girl work the street first.  "The Internet is crushing the stroll" said one pimp. "I break every [girl] in with the stroll.  However, I don't really play the stroll as much since the Internet is way more lucrative."  

pimp rules

Pimps usually set daily quotas for the women that must be met.  The typical amount is $500 on weekdays and $1000 on weekends.   Pimps typically manage at least 1 to 4 individuals, sometimes referred to as a "stable." They have the option to trade or sell a girl to another pimp. If the girl wants to change pimps, often the pimp she is moving to will pay the pimp she is leaving a finder's fee.

pimp rules

Some girls are not allowed to look at other pimps.  If she is caught looking at another pimp, her pimp will think she is trying to "choose up" (change pimps) and he will sell her or trade her to the pimp she was looking at.   Pimps will spend personal time with one of the girls in the stable as a reward for high earnings. This will create an atmosphere of competition between the women under the same pimp.  

pimp rules

Often a pimp will appoint one of the women in his stable to oversee the other girls.   Pimps will discipline the girl in charge in front of the other girls to instill fear in them.

pimp rules

Dank, Meredith, and Matthew Johnson. “The Hustle.” Urban Institute, 2014.

case study: bissonnet pimp

CASE STUDY: bissonnet pimp

From 2015 until his arrest in 2018, Marquis Holmes used social media to recruit at least 16 women and one minor. They were brutalized and forced into a sex trafficking ring that operated in Houston tracks and seven states. He threatened to harm them or their families if they didn’t deliver his daily earnings quota.

CASE STUDY: bissonnet pimp

According to one victim who testified in court, he recruited and groomed her at “a really low point” in her life. "He promised me drugs, he promised me a place to stay, he promised me food, and, at the time, those were the most important things to me, and I had no idea the type of violence that could be inflicted on another human.”

CASE STUDY: bissonnet pimp

To make sure his victims understood he was in charge, Holmes kicked and repeatedly whipped them with a thick belt. When the women didn’t meet his required $1,500 daily quota, he beat and deprived them of food.

CASE STUDY: bissonnet pimp

This is one type of pimping scenario, but the aspects of force and coercion are common. “This is the kind of world that these women live with,” said Ann Johnson,  former Chief Human Trafficking Prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office “This is what’s happening on the back end for most of them… but the social media component is new. That’s part of what made it blow up”.

CASE STUDY: bissonnet pimp

Holmes was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release. According to court documents, Holmes held onto the money the women earned while under his control. The government calculated that he owed just one of his victims $612,000 in restitution.

Banks, Gabrielle. “Bissonnet Pimp Gets Lengthy Sentence for Trafficking Women across Seven States.” Houston Chronicle, March 13, 2020.

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