Thursday, August 27, 2015
LOS ANGELES COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS JAIL DIVERSION PROGRAM
Sex Workers Anonymous
(702) 468-4529 Telephone
August 27, 2015
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Re: Jail Programs and Diversion
One of the reasons why so many programs developed for the mentally ill, the drug addict, the homeless, and/or the criminals going in and out of jail/prison were not working as effectively as possible back in the 1980's was because they were not addressing specifically the issues of not just the sex trafficking victims – but also those involved in the sex industry itself. Let's face it – when one is mentally ill, drug dependent, and in and out of jail then it's not like these people can usually just go out and find a job easy. This has been especially complicated now with the rise of the internet and pornography. Many of our members since the late 1990's report they're unable to find work because of their past in pornography popping up every time any potential employer does a background check.
When working with ex-mayor Bradley – we were able to put together a program that addressed all of these gaps in service, especially when it came to HIV. Just having a diagnosis for example doesn't just stop one from being a prostitute – especially if being forced to go out on the streets by a pimp who could care less about public safety. Fear of things like the recent subpenas that went out by Michael Weinstein to try and obtain medical records of those in the porn industry has caused a greater number of sex workers to refuse medical testing of any kind for fear of being targeted in this fashion.
Our success rates were so amazing – I was asked to help set up the first program to help with diversion, HIV, and the jails in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This led to the formation of a program that was so successful they were able to scrap plans to build a whole new jail while it was operating. We saved the county over $750,000 – money that went into building better programs for kids and seniors in the area.
I've recently relocated back here because of calls I've been getting from our members. Our program is now on it's “second generation” meaning we're now getting calls from mothers we had helped in the 80's and 90's to now help their sons and daughters today having problems. Our local members are preparing to work on an outreach that will be combined with reality TV and social media designed to raise awareness that not just trafficking victims need help. So too do those who are not trafficked – but would like help to exit the merry-go-round lifestyle of the strip clubs, the street corners, and porn sets.
I'd like to connect our program to this diversion/jail project to help but don't know how to reach the people involved. As a volunteer – I have to rely on sending faxes and emails in my spare time to try and find out this information from your offices and would appreciate any assistance you can give me. Our members are working during the day hours generally (as they should be), so we can't just send someone down to the board meetings. If you could therefore direct me how to reach those working on these projects – I'd be very appreciative. We have a program that's been already developed that's highly effective for those in jail – and I'd like to make them more aware about our resources.
Thank you for your time.