Women of the Street

Women of the Street

How the Criminal Justice-Social Services Alliance Fails Women in Prostitution

by Susan Dewey and Tonia St. Germain

Published by: NYU Press

288 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781479841943
  • Published: February 2017

$30.00

BUY
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781479854493
  • Published: February 2017

$89.00

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Explores encounters between those who make their living by engaging in street-based prostitution and the criminal justice and social service workers who try to curtail it  
 
Working together every day, the lives of sex workers, police officers, public defenders, and social service providers are profoundly intertwined, yet their relationships are often adversarial and rooted in fundamentally false assumptions.  The criminal justice-social services alliance operates on the general belief that the women they police and otherwise regulate choose sex work as a result of traumatization, rather than acknowledging the fact that socioeconomic realities often inform their choices.

Drawing on extraordinarily rich ethnographic research, including interviews with over one hundred street-involved women and dozens of criminal justice and social service professionals, Women of the Street argues that despite the intimate knowledge these groups have about each other, measures designed to help these women consistently fail because they do not take into account false assumptions about street life, homelessness, drug use and sex trading.  Reaching beyond disciplinary silos by combining the analysis of an anthropologist and a legal scholar, the book offers an evidence-based argument for the decriminalization of prostitution.

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