The police, DA and the diversion program with the misleading name of Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE) as well as so-called anti-trafficking feminists.
How do they make money from criminalizing sex workers?
– The police working the lucrative vice squad make money on hundreds of hours of overtime pay, paid for by you the tax payer, as they hound and exploit sex workers who work .the streets. Additionally the vice squad track women down on Craigs list, rent hotel rooms, watch women undress, often demand free sex and then arrest the sex worker.
– Fees are collected from those arrested and who are diverted to the First Offender Prostitution Program (FOPP) which is run by SAGE.
– Money from these fees is then divided up between the three primary partners, the police, the DA and SAGE who benefit from the continued arrests.
– Men arrested for prostitution-related offenses can be charged $1000 to attend FOPP.
– Public defenders report that people are sent to FOPP by the courts in preference to other diversion programs that are free and reportedly more effective.
– The Bush administration while cutting social programs to benefit low income women and men, have poured millions of dollars into funding anti-trafficking projects that are a remarkable failure at catching actual traffickers*. The Public Defender reports that no one trafficker has been convicted under the California anti-trafficking law. Anti-trafficking feminists are going after this lucrative area of funding and so aligning themselves with the Bush administration and legacy.
– Under the guise of going after traffickers, immigrant sex workers, the majority of whom are women of color, are arrested and deported; this is similar to the ICE raids by Homeland Security ICE raids against immigrant communities in the Bay Area and across the country.
More than 70% of San Francisco residents oppose their tax payer dollars being used in this way instead of being used for services to benefit, youth, at risk women and communities.
Meanwhile cases of actual slavery of farm workers, domestic workers and other low-income vulnerable workers are not prioritized. And neither is the prosecution of rapists and serial murderers. Cops are too busy arresting sex workers – an easy prey – to spend time investigating and arresting violent men.
Women are the first losers as our safety is neglected.
Prop K aims to reverse this. Vote Yes on Prop K!