Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tracking the Experience of Decriminalizing Prostitution in Rhode Island

Donna Hughes & Melanie Shapiro, Bibliography of Sources on Prostitution Decriminalization in Rhode Island

A bibliography of sources on the research we did on prostitution and sex trafficking and the advocacy work we did to end decriminalized prostitution. For 29 years prostitution was decriminalized in Rhode Island (if it occurred indoors). Sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls were integrated into economic development. The number of sex businesses grew rapidly and organized crime groups operated brothels and extorted money from adult entertainment businesses. Rhode Island became a destination for pimps, sex traffickers, and other violent criminals. The lack of laws impeded police from investigating serious crimes, including sex trafficking

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/gender_law/2017/02/tracking-the-experience-of-decriminalizing-prostitution-in-rhode-island.html

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Comments

This is interesting reading - but I think it's important to note that there research out there that suggests that there were some positive effects of decriminalization in the public health arena - e.g. the National Bureau of Economic Research did a study that had interesting findings. From the abstract: We exploit the fact that a Rhode Island District Court judge unexpectedly decriminalized indoor prostitution in 2003 to provide the first causal estimates of the impact of decriminalization on the composition of the sex market, rape offenses, and sexually transmitted infection outcomes. Not surprisingly, we find that decriminalization increased the size of the indoor market. However, we also find that decriminalization caused both forcible rape offenses and gonorrhea incidence to decline for the overall population. Our synthetic control model finds 824 fewer reported rape offenses (31 percent decrease) and 1,035 fewer cases of female gonorrhea (39 percent decrease) from 2004 to 2009.

http://www.nber.org/papers/w20281?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntw

Posted by: Brian | Feb 22, 2017 10:20:36 AM

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