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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Prostitution Arrests: What Happens At The Courthouse?

Here at Bronx Community Solutions we're developing a new initiative to change the way that prostitution cases are handled. In the pilot phase of our project we've been partnering with officers from the NYPD to conduct street outreaches at the times and locations that prostitution activity is heaviest, in an effort to get to know the individuals and attempt to engage them in services.

Prostitution cases are a difficult challenge for the court system. The underlying issues are often complicated, and many defendants go right back to offending behavior when the get out of the system. For a neighborhood, being known as a prostitution area is demoralizing, and seeing a known prostitute get arrested and then go right back out on street is discouraging.

In order to better understand the issue, we thought we would analyze the way that these cases are currently handled by the court system. We wanted to answer several questions: "What Are the Ages of Prostitution Arrestees at Time of Arrest?" "Which Commands Make the Majority of Prostitution Arrests?" "What Types of Dispositions Do Prostitution Cases Receive?" "What Types of Bronx Community Solutions Sentences are Imposed?" "How Long are Jail Sentences For Prostitution Offenses?" "What Penalties Are Imposed for Failure to Complete Bronx Community Solutions Mandates? To see our findings, Read More.

To get a good snapshot we analyzed all the cases from six month period. We identified 342 arrests for prostitution charges in the Bronx between March 5, 2007 and September 22, 2007. Out of those arrests, a total of 255 individuals were identified (43 of whom were arrested more than once during this period). Additionally, at least 56% of these individuals are likely to have a substance abuse issue, based on the charges of their previous arrests and 39% where designated as Operation Spotlight persistent misdemeanor offenders (were the information was available). By analyzing court records, Bronx Community Solutions staff learned the following information.

What Are the Ages of Prostitution Arrestees at Time of Arrest?

















Which Commands Make the Majority of Prostitution Arrests?














What Types of Dispositions Do Prostitution Cases Receive?














What Types of Bronx Community Solutions Sentences are Imposed?

















How Long are Jail Sentences For Prostitution Offenses?














What Penalties Are Imposed for Failure to Complete Bronx Community Solutions Mandates?


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many have Aids or other STD's? How many spread their infections? I wonder how many of those girl go home to loving husband not knowing what is really going on? how many johns got caught by an STD and then police ? I wonder how many john got arrested?

Anonymous said...

I wonder why those arrested for prostitution are usually required to complete some sort of "stop selling yourself" program or jail, yet those who are arrested for patronizing walk out with a disorderly conduct plea.

Additionally, I'd be interested in knowing how often your anti-prostitution programs offer solutions and protection from the men for whom many of these prostitutes are working and are unable to leave.

Finally, your program might also benefit from learning a bit more about the way in which the undercover officers operate in these cases. Talk to those who are getting locked up for working or just being "known" for working--often it's the latter.

Benjamin Smith, Intake Coordinator said...

Anonymous: Thank you for posting this thoughtful comment. As far as we know, "johns" usually get a slap on the wrist, such as a disorderly conduct charge. Other jurisdictions do mandate completion of a "john's group" or some other kind of program requirement, but we haven't seriously considered doing anything like that in the Bronx as of yet.

As for the question, "how often do your anti-prostitution programs offer solutions and protection," we currently partner with two programs: GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services) and Midtown Community Court (Choices, and Trans Empowerment). GEMS is primarily focused on women 16-24, and provides peer mentoring and counseling services that are designed to build a support structure for women who want to get out of the "life." Choices and Trans Empowerment are focused on older women (24+) and people in the transgender population. Both of those programs are located in Manhattan. We're taking steps to enhance the services available in the Bronx: starting our own version of the Choices program, and working with RestoreNYC to develop programs for intensive support including safe and secure housing.

Anonymous said...

Looks like there is no freedom of choice for women. First they weren't allowed to vote, then they werent allowed abbortion, now they cant charge for sex. Wow, and we wonder why murder, rape, burglaries, etc are still going on as I type this. Pathetic.