Rethinking Arrest: Street Prostitution and Public Policy in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the criminalization, arrest, and incarceration of those engaging in prostitution is currently the central focus of efforts to decrease prostitution. These individuals are often poor or homeless, have substance abuse problems, are the victims of physical and sexual violence, and want to leave prostitution. OpenDoors encourages policy makers to improve the lives of those engaging in prostitution by funding outreach, job training, and diversionary programs, and by limiting jail time for prostitution-related charges.

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Rethinking Arrest: Street Prostitution and Public Policy in Rhode Island

Released: August 2009, (pdf)

Status of Relevant Legislation: Prostitution criminalized regardless of where it takes place

According to the report, street prostitution is still prevalent in Providence, Central Falls, Woonsocket, and Pawtucket, involving over 350 women in the last three years. The report analyzes public policy and concludes that the state could save at least half a million dollars by not arresting and imprisoning women for street prostitution, which resulted in at least 215 incarcerations in 2008.

 

Policy Brief on Prostitution and Incarceration in Rhode Island

Released: April 2007, (pdf)

Status of Relevant Legislation: Prostitution criminalized regardless of where it takes place

In Rhode Island, the criminalization, arrest, and incarceration of those engaging in prostitution is currently the central focus of efforts to decrease prostitution. These individuals are often poor or homeless, have substance abuse problems, are the victims of physical and sexual violence, and want to leave prostitution.

 

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