Why do we prosecute SEX Workers?
Sex worker activists (who want the sex trade to be treated like any other work) and prostitution abolitionists (who want to see it disappear entirely) don’t agree on much, but they do on this: Giving people charged with prostitution a felony also gives them a criminal record that makes other work almost impossible to find, thus trapping them into selling sex in perpetuity.
And now, with eight states handing down felony charges for prostitution — where nonviolent, mostly female prostitution offenders are serving in state prison - a battle to lessen criminal penalties has been joined by an unlikely ally. Conservative lawmakers, looking at price tags, are also receptive to changing the way we see - and treat — people working in prostitution.
The latest example of this shift to view people in prostitution as victims rather than criminals is last week’s passage of a bill removing the felony penalty in Illinois — which has some of the harshest prostitution laws in the country. The legislation sailed through the Illinois Legislature, after a decade of work by End Demand Illinois, a coalition that wants to see prostitution eliminated. The highest penalty for selling sex in the state will now be a Class A misdemeanor.
More: | Alternet