Sunday, December 31, 2006

USDoJ suggests solutions for street prostitution

Poking around the DoJ website this morning on a different topic, I ran across a "problem-oriented guide" on street prostitution published in November by the Department of Justice that looks really interesting - especially their side-by-side comparisons of the pros and cons of different police tactics. I want to examine their analysis of on-the-ground solutions more closely later, but for now at least wanted to preserve the link so I could find it again, and also in case Grits readers may be interested in the topic.


800 pound gorilla said...

I find it offensive that many of the problems associated with prostitution involve "innocent people being offended by behaviors". Since when does a free country impose moral standards upon its citizens? Who decides which moral standards prevail?

I have lived in Portland, Oregon for over 9 years. Their whack-a-mole approach towards prostitution and teenage cruising is comical in nature. The lapdog Oregonian actually takes them seriously. There is a market for casual sex among younger adult and preadult males and it is being controlled by criminals.

There are no workplace standards for health and safety nor for misconduct of employers. It is circular logic to presume that those types of problems justify the laws that created those problems in the first place. But that type of inanity hasn't prevented the lapdog media to be wholly supportive of police interference and the involvement of the criminal justice system.
I'm also certain that many younger police and sex starved older police are regular clients of the self same pimp exploiters. Some pimps get away, all victims get the shaft. I would also guess that many of the "informants" for police are pimps who have extensive knowledge of other criminal activities.
The solution is obvious: license places of business off the streets and regulate this as a legitimate trade. The unfortunate side effect is that we would have "red-light" districts because of the "good people" whose sensibilities are offended - just as in Europe. At least then those with fragile egos and even more fragile faith systems can avoid these "dens of iniquity".

OP said...

The best approach this this age old problem is to decriminalize it.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that prostitution was a federal crime......oh, it isn't.
What makes the Fed an expert on the subject?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"What makes the Fed an expert on the subject?"

It appears to be a survey of tactics used by various state and local jurisdictions by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) division of DoJ. So my headline may have been misleading - it's a study of what the locals are doing, not DoJ offering its advice, though they do evaluate pros and cons of each tactic.

123txpublicdefender123 said...

One technique that is not effective is the one the Texas legislature decided to take a few years ago: making prostitution a felony. That's right. You can get anywhere from six months to two years in state jail (no good time, no parole) for a fourth prostitution conviction. Somehow, in their infinite wisdom, the legislature thought making prostitution a felony would act as a deterrent. Apparently, they did not understand that these are people (mostly women) who willingly get into vehicles with strange men, anyone of whom could be a rapist or serial killer, just so they can get $10 or $15 for giving a blow job. The threat of assault, rape, and murder doesn't deter them, but now that it might be a felony, that ought to do the trick!

Just as a point of reference, these repeat prostitution cases were some of the most depressing cases in my years at the Dallas PD's office. Most of them had been repeatedly sexually and/or physically abused since childhood. Many of them had run away from abusive homes as teenagers, and been living on the streets ever since. Something needs to be done for these women, but throwing them in prison isn't it.