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Monday, August 3, 2015

DIVERSION PROGRAM FOR PROSTITUTES IN CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA

Sex Workers Anonymous (formerly Prostitutes Anonymous)
www.sexworkersanonymous.com
(702) 468-4529 Telephone

August 3, 2015

Clark County District Attorney's Office Via Fax

Clark County Public Defenders' Office Via Fax

Clark County Judges Via Fax

Clark County Metro Officers Via Fax

Re: Trafficking in Nevada – Making the Connections 2007 Report
       PRESS RELEASE ABOUT UPDATING REPORT

Dear Clark County:

As some of you may remember, I was a co-writer of the report listed above released in 2007. Melissa Farley, PhD, had prepared this report for the State Dept., and completed it with chapters contributed by myself, as well as interviews with women our program worked with who had been sex trafficked domestically, as well as in Nevada. The main focus of it was to highlight sex trafficking can happen even in the legal sex industry – which includes the legal brothels of Nevada as well as the strip clubs, the porn industry, etc. The facts of which were verified by Bob Herbert of the NY Post much to the irritation of our then mayor, Oscar Goodman.

Recently I heard something very troubling. Prostitutes who had been arrested for prostitution in San Diego, but who resided in Las Vegas, Nevada, were driving to San Diego, California to attend weekly classes held by Kathi Hardy. Kathi runs a “First Offender Diversion” program there. Now I know that when one is on probation – one isn't supposed to leave the state. However, I also know if they don't attend classes they're ordered to attend they will be violated. This sounds very confusing to me.

Further, I don't understand why they're going all this way when we have Sex Workers Anonymous meetings being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as our national phone meetings which are also held weekly for anyone to attend who might be in rural counties like Pahrump, Tonopah, Mound, etc. We also have meetings available in many major cities across the USA. These meetings are free to attend so money is not a factor. Since we have had judges accept court cards from prostitutes attending our phone and local meetings even in the recent past - I'm trying to figure out why these women are going all the way to San Diego to attend classes. I had offered Kathi the option to do something where these women didn't have to make the drive – but her quote was she “wasn't going to give anyone a referral to us because I talked badly about her”. I'm not talking badly about her because she's just taking referrals given to her. There's a bigger problem here that needs to be addressed.

What troubles me even more is this is not a one day drive. To get from Vegas to San Diego is at least a ten hour drive. Meaning they'd have to stay over, get a hotel, etc., all at their own expense. I also don't know any job that would let someone take off in the middle of the week for at least a two day trip to attend this program. Frankly, it's counter-productive. How would you honestly expect someone to quit prostitution, or sex work, legal or illegal, while having them make this trip? The only thing I can think of is that your court must not be aware that we have Sex Workers Anonymous meetings to let these women know about – as well as men and transgenders who are arrested for prostitution also.

I'm also frankly concerned about the women who AREN'T making it to San Diego, California.  Many women arrested for prostitution do so because of a lack of funds.  To make a weekly trip to Las Vegas requires that one drive and have a half way decent car, or money for airfare or a bus ticket and a hotel.  I also think the program in San Diego also costs money to attend.  So let me get this straight - they can't work a job in Nevada because they have to go to San Diego weekly - but you want them to quit prostitution?  Then pay for this weekly trip?  This isn't computing in my mind at all here.  So of course I'm wondering what happens to those who CAN'T make the trip?  Are they put in jail?   This isn't a Las Vegas or a San Diego problem. Not when I'm hearing from women in diversion programs all over the USA that they're having to pay fees for these programs that they're raising from prostitution. Money that they tell me the programs are well aware the money is coming from tricking and they don't care.

As for Las Vegas, I don't expect the Cupcake Girls are giving them very helpful or accurate information or assistance to find these women work. I saw them at the legislature recently to have a Bill passed to expunge the records of prostitutes on the claim that they “can't find work” with a trespassing charge on their criminal records. However, we've been finding that every major casino certainly do hire them. Not just casinos – but I know many other companies that are legit that don't care about a criminal record. Not a fact they shout from the roof tops which is why we don't publish a list of companies in Nevada who will hire someone who has a prostitution arrest, or conviction, and especially record of a license for having worked in a brothel or as an “entertainer” at a strip club. But we have such a list.  We have that list because we've been helping our members get working since 1987 - and doing so effectively.  There are some testimonials up at www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextraffictalk from our members talking how we've helped them.

When I heard this lack of knowledge I offered a copy of the list to the Cupcake Girls of these companies which they not only refused from me – they blocked our emails so they can't get any information from us now at all as a professional courtesy. Why? I have no idea why a woman who just started a bakery in Las Vegas only about a year ago thinks she knows more about placing prostitutes in Nevada in jobs over someone like myself who has been doing this since 1995 – but clearly she seems to think she does. Maybe this is why she's out trying to get a Bill passed rather than just getting the list of companies who hire prostitutes with criminal records from me.

I think it's time to update that report on the state of affairs of sex trafficking and prostitution in Nevada. I no longer have an association with Melissa Farley, PhD, so I've located another expert in trafficking who does have a PhD to over see me doing a 2015 report. For this reason, I will be calling to interview people from your various offices over the next few months. I would appreciate any assistance you can give me in preparing this report which will be published online, and forwarded to the State Dept., as well as Loretta Lynch, our new US Attorney General.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. In the meantime, if you have any prostitutes who need to attend meetings for court, or to fulfill any alternative sentencing requirements – please know we do still have Sex Workers Anonymous meetings in Nevada available to anyone regardless of distance meaning northern Nevada as well. We have phone meetings, email support, and even our “Recovery Guide” available on audio now for those who have reading problems. Our site is also in the process of adding a Spanish translation of our literature.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Jody Williams

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