Examining the Effects of Criminalization on the Sex Trade
(Pictured: A graduation cap designed and worn by Faith Zimmerle at the 2019 UC Davis Commencement Ceremony)
The Sex Workers Outreach Project Sacramento (SWOP) in conjunction with Safer Alternatives through Networking and Education (S.A.N.E.) will be conducting a needs analysis evaluating the methods that law enforcement uses when dealing with Sex Workers. Our goal is to understand and evaluate how sex work is addressed in the Sacramento Valley. Issues that we will be exploring include arrest techniques, impact on arrestees, sexual and physical abuse by law enforcement in the sex worker community, mental and physical health of those who have had encounters with law enforcement, and the effects of current law enforcement actions on the greater community. We will also be examining the correlation between homelessness and sex work.
Our first joint needs analysis has been used by medical professionals (UC Davis Medical Center, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, etc) and learning institutions in addition to politicians in the California State Legislature in passing legislation; such as the newly passed SB233, which will allow sex workers to carry condoms with out fear of arrest and to report violent offenders with complete immunity from sex worker and minor drug offenses. We are hoping that this new study will allow us to collect data to better advocated for our most marginalized.
According to arrest records in Sacramento County, over the last few years the vast majority of arrests for solicitation and loitering with intent to commit prostitution have been young women of color and trans workers. We want to examine the end effects of a clearly broken justice system and learn what other actions could be taken to reduce harm and create a safer environment for our most marginalized.