SF Amnesty Policies for Sex Workers’ Safety

The District Attorney’s Policy

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY

George Gascón District Attorney

View the  District Attorney Policy here.

Prioritizing Safety for Sex Workers The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office is concerned about the safety and well being of all San Franciscans. As such, we are eager to enact appropriate policies that sustain our commitment to public safety for people engaged in sex work and other forms of sex trade who are victims of sexual assault, human trafficking and other violent crimes. In order to create an environment where individuals who are victims or witnesses of violent crime are able to come forth to report violence, we are committed to the following:

The District Attorney’s Office will not prosecute persons for involvement in sex work or other forms of sex trade when they are victims or witnesses of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary or other violent crime. For purposes of this policy, persons will not be prosecuted for uncharged offenses including Penal code §§ 647(a), 647(b), 653.22, 372, and misdemeanor drug offenses, when reporting sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary or other violent crime.
Information gathered from a victim or witness of a violent crime who is engaged in sex work or other forms of sex trade including trafficked persons will not be used in any manner to investigate and prosecute that person, during the course of the investigation or in the future. So long as the person making the report does so truthfully, any statements they make shall not be used against them in the current investigation or in any future criminal action against them concerning this incident brought by this office for violation of Penal code §§ 647(a), 647(b), 653.22, 372.

Immigration status will not be used by the District Attorney against victims and witnesses of violent crime in any way. The Office of the District Attorney shall not report to any person or government agency the immigration status of any person making a report under this policy, with the exception of assisting with the application for immigration relief that would benefit the victim or witness.

The District Attorney’s Office will work collaboratively with the San Francisco Police Department and Sheriff’s Department on a training program on sex work and crimes against sex workers to ensure that this policy is implemented in a manner that furthers the goal of the reporting of violent crime by persons engaged in sex work and other forms of sex trade including trafficked persons. The training shall be developed and implemented in collaboration with community based organizations that serve sex workers.

Note: This agreement does not apply to a prosecutor’s discovery obligations as required by law.
850 BRYANT STREET, THIRD FLOOR∙ SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94103

RECEPTION: (415) 553-1752 ∙ FACSIMILE: (415) 553-9054

Police Department’s Policy

A 17-249 12/19/17
Prioritizing Safety for Sex Workers

View the Police Department Policy here
This Department Bulletin serves to establish a guideline for officers who encounter a sex worker who is a victim or witness of a violent crime and/or who may be subject to arrest.

San Francisco prioritizes the investigation of violent crimes and this bulletin is adopted to help create a climate where all victims and witnesses, regardless of age (juvenile and adult), have equal access to reporting such crimes.

In light of recent events in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad, officers are reminded that, pursuant to DGO 2.01 and 3.01, any officer misconduct against sex workers, including retaliation, coercion or coercive intimate acts, is subject to disciplinary and/or. criminal action. Sex workers are vulnerable to violence and face barriers in reporting violent crimes to law enforcement in San Francisco. The criminalization of sex work is one of the primary barriers to reporting violence to law enforcement. Sex workers report fear of arrest as a barrier to reporting violent crimes.

This bulletin institutionalizes the Department’s existing prioritization of violent crimes and aims to ensure equal access to safety for persons engaged in sex work and other forms of sex trade including trafficked persons. The Department seeks to promote the safety, dignity, and wellbeing of all San Franciscans, including sex workers; and to reduce violence, trafficking of persons, and abuse, including labor violations, within the sex industry. The Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office have developed complementary policies for persons of any age engaged in sex work and other forms of sex trade who experience or witness violent crimes.

Prioritizing Violent Crimes In an effort to reduce reporting barriers for victims or witnesses to violent crimes, members will not arrest persons for involvement in sex work or other forms of sex trade when they are victims or witnesses of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary or other violent crime.
When responding to juveniles involved in commercial sexual activity, members shall follow the procedures for juvenile victims of sexual assault, as described in Department General Order 6.16 (Sexual Assaults). For the purpose of this guideline,. “sex work” is defined as a provision of sexual services for money, goods, or services.

Additionally, members will not arrest persons for offenses including California Penal Code sections 647(a), 647(b), 653.22, 372 and misdemeanor drug offenses, when they report being-the victim or witness of a sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary or other violent crime. However, if a misdemeanor drug offense violation occurs, and the violator reports being a victim or witness of a sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or other violent crime, officers shall seize and book evidence as appropriate and document the circumstances of the contact in an incident report. This will facilitate a referral of the case to the District Attorney’s Office for a warrant consideration.

Referrals to Victim Advocates In addition to documenting information in a police report, officers shall refer sex workers reporting violent crimes to community resources and Victim Services in the District Attorney’s Office (per SFPD Special Victims Unit Follow Up and Referral Card 142 Rev. 12/17). The Department will collaborate with community based organizations that serve sex workers to ensure existing referral cards are reviewed annually and appropriately updated.
Training The Department will work collaboratively with the District Attorney’s Office on a training program on sex work and crimes against sex workers to ensure that this bulletin is implemented in a manner that furthers the goals of the reporting of violent crimes and building trust and rapport with this community. The training shall be developed and implemented in collaboration with community based organizations that serve sex workers.

Notification If a person identifies themselves as a victim of human trafficking or a sex worker reports being the victim or witness of a sexual assault, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary or other violent crime, the member shall notify Special Victims Unit during business hours (0900-1700) Monday – Friday.

Notifications for any of the above incidents shall be made to the SVU at (415) 553-9225.

After hours, weekend and holiday notifications for any of the above incidents shall be made to the Department Operations Center at (415) 553-1071.
If the person is a juvenile engaged in commercial, sexual activity, the responding officer shall contact Family and Children Services Child Abuse Hotline at (415) 558-2650.
WILLIAM SCOTT

Chief of Police
Per DB 17-080, both sworn and PSA members are required to electronically acknowledge receipt and review of this Department Bulletin in HRMS.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s