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10 Crime-Related Industries You Didn't Know Existed

We all know about the prison industry, but did you know these crime-related industries exist too?

The idea that crime doesn't pay is pretty laughable. 

In America, we have a very lucrative criminal system that tends to give birth to a number of different industries relating to crime in one way or another. Between our billion-dollar private prison systems and the sheer amount of money that heroin dealers can make, it's easy to see where there's profit to be found. 

It's also pretty shocking to see how many crime-related industries have cropped up in the US over the years. Most of these are related to crime prevention, the prison industry, or dealing with the aftermath of crime. Scarily enough, they're all legal—even those that are clearly exploitative in nature. 

Don't believe it? Here are some of the industries most people aren't aware of until they have become victims of a crime themselves. 

Sex Tourism

You might have heard about rumors of creepy guys heading to Thailand and the like, but did you know that sex tourism is a real industry? It's true, and there are even places in the United States that are known for it, including cities like Reno. 

As one of the most crime-related industries in the world, sex tourism hotspots regularly have issues dealing with human trafficking, child prostitution, and extortion. It's so bad that there have even been warnings of kidnappings in cities like Las Vegas. 

Crime Insurance

Most people are aware that insurers will carry special riders to help protect people against carjackings or home theft. What you don't realize is that there's an actual insurance industry entirely devoted to this aspect of life. 

Crime insurers cover everything from credit card fraud, to cybercrime, to money laundering issues, to item theft, to losses from employee dishonesty (if you own a business). Crime insurance remains one of the lesser-known crime-related industries out there, but if you ask us, it's one of the best coverages for people who live in high-crime neighborhoods. 

Shooting Prevention Specialists

It's no secret that violent crimes have seen an uptick in recent years, with one of the most increasingly worrisome issues being school shootings. Believe it or not, one of the crime-related industries that has become rather popular is the role of violence prevention. 

Gavin de Becker is a violence prediction specialist who wrote The Gift of Fear and helps companies detect potential shootings before they happen, and diffuse bad situations. 

Prison Dating Services

Though it's often joked about on "the outside," the truth is that prison dating services can and do exist. The most popular dating service, Prison Inmates Online, has hundreds of users and categorizes inmates by their prison sentence, sexual preferences, and more. 

Weird as it may be, the site seems to have quite a bit of traffic. As far as crime-related industries go, this is one of the more insane ones we've seen. Even so, prison love seems to be something people really do enjoy. 

Prison-Based Manufacturing

Everyone knows that prisons profit from government grants, but did you know that there are actually multiple routes of income that make the prison system so profitable? Two of the biggest routes are JPay and the prison manufacturing complex. 

The prison industry involves obtaining contracts with major retail companies. Once the contracts are secured, inmates are hired to make clothing, items, and perform other tasks. Since prison inmates don't have the same rights as those who aren't incarcerated, they are paid pennies for every hour of work. It's worker exploitation, plain and simple. 


JPay is the other route of profit prisons use. It's a finance system that allows loved ones to send and receive money from people who have been incarcerated in the American prison system. It also allows people to call loved ones who are in jail, and lets inmates buy necessities like socks.

Though it sounds innocuous, the problem with this is the fact that JPay is known for charging massive fees for every transaction. In many cases, inmates might only see 40 dollars or so out of ever $100 they are gifted. Such is life as a prisoner. 

The Troubled Teen Camp Industry

To a point, this is both one of the most dangerous crime-related industries and one of the most terrifying psychology-related industries. This is an industry that is supposed to help teens who are allegedly on the route to self-destruction and criminal behavior. 

People who send kids to these camps will often see children get taken from their beds at the middle of the night. Rampant sexual abuse, forms of torture, and mental abuse have been reported at many of these camps. Some camps have even had kids die as a result. 

Most teens who are "graduates" are permanently traumatized. Oddly enough, the troubled teen industry has not been illegalized despite egregious abuses that have come to light. 

Scare Journalism

Scare journalism has become very popular, especially among conservative news groups. This journalism method focuses in on crimes, the dangers that seemingly lurk around every corner, and other similar scandals. 

It's easy to see how journalists that focus on crimes profit from criminal activity. It gives them a story, feeds the fear that people have, and continues to give them a shock that gets readers going. 

Prison Museums

If you're reading this, then you already know how many people love to read about true crime. There is something thrilling about reading true crime books or forensic psychology books, you know? 

Considering how popular the genre is, it's not surprising that one of the more ethical crime-related industries you might encounter is the prison museum industry. These museums are often found in old prisons and serve as educational tools. 

Some of the coolest prison museums will feature stories about organized crime, your favorite famous criminal investigation, and how criminal behavior of yesteryear was different from what you see today. Neat!

Crime Scene Cleanup

Many people who have experienced the tragedy of losing a loved one to suicide already know that this is one of the most common crime-related industries in America. This is the industry that is devoted to cleaning up human remains. 

Most regular cleaning services won't touch crime scenes. Those who are in this industry receive specialized training to do so and perform this thankless job for a fee. You have to admit, it's pretty impressive that someone will handle that stuff. 

Crime Victim Assistance

It's not surprising to hear that many victims of violent crime tend to carry a unique form of PTSD. Due to the fact that victims often will need special care for their cases, one of the most benevolent crime-related industries in the medical field is Crime Victim Assistance. 

Crime Victim Assistance, or CVA, includes services like specialized therapy, empowering self-defense programs, legal advice, and rape aftercare. Not all industries related to crime are exploitative, and this is proof of that fact. 

Iggy Paulsen
Iggy Paulsen

Iggy Paulsen is a fan of anything and everything wholesome. He loves his two dogs, hiking in the woods, traveling to Aruba, building DIY projects that better humanity, and listening to motivational speakers. He hopes to eventually become a motivational speaker himself.

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