Texas May Reconsider Law That Sends Prostitutes to Prison

by Admin on August 29, 2012

Photo by Henry_Spencer

Texas may be forced to reconsider a state law that allows prosecutors to charge prostitutes with a felony and send them to prison after three misdemeanor convictions.

A 2001 Texas law allowed prosecutors to charge prostitutes with a felony and send them to a state lockup after three misdemeanor prostitution convictions. The law was set up to stop chronic problems with truck-stop and street hookers in Dallas.

According to the Austin American-Statesman more than 350 prostitutes currently occupy bunks in state prisons, and now some officials are questioning this. It costs between $15,500 and $18,538 a year to house a convict in a state prison or lower-security jail.

However, community-based rehabilitation programs cost about $4,300 a year. Since officials are looking to save costs, the issue is expected to be on the agenda when the Legislature convenes again in January.

Thailand criminal law states that prostitution is illegal and unlike the Texas law there is no three strikes and you’re out law in Thailand. On the other end of the spectrum, countries such as Sweden have criminalized prostitution only for customers, and not for prostitutes themselves.  Still other countries, such as the Netherlands, have fully decriminalized prostitution and brought it under government regulation.  A similar situation exists in Nevada USA.  Perhaps Texas prostitutes should consider a career move.

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