(WWJ) – There’s been a lot of talk in Southeast Michigan lately about prostitution. Last week a member of Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners resigned from his position after he was allegedly caught by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department with a sex worker in his truck.
Prostitution remains illegal in every state – with some exceptions in Nevada – but in Metro Detroit’s Washtenaw County, the prosecutor has stopped prosecuting prostitutes and those caught with prostitutes, in an effort he says makes the community safer.
On a new Daily J podcast, WWJ’s Zach Clark explores the changing views on prostitution. Hearing from Prosecutor Eli Savitt, Melissa Broudo of the organization Decriminalize Sex Work, and a sex worker named Raven.
“How are we treating sex workers in the criminal legal system? Looking both at data and having conversations with folks that have been in the sex work industry, the evidence was really clear that when we criminalize sex workers – when somebody is facing an arrest because they’re engaged in sex work – that makes them much more vulnerable to violence and trafficking,” Savit said.
He also says it makes it less likely for prosecutors to get a conviction against people who are “imposing real harm.”
Raven says violence is “getting out of control” in the sex worker industry and many girls are afraid to come forward.
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