The criminal justice system’s approach to sex work has changed in recent years as some area District Attorneys’ offices have pledged to stop prosecuting some sex work related offenses, while some continue to prosecute those accused of patronizing and third parties.
Still, the continued criminalization of sex work disproportionately affects the LGBTQ community, communities of color and immigrant communities where, for many, sex work remains a means of survival in the face of economic insecurity.
Pending legislation in Albany (the “Stop the Violence in the Sex Trades Act” S3075/A849) aims to decriminalize sex work between consenting adults and allow workers a safe and secure environment, without the stigma and fear of judgment, arrest, and incarceration. Meanwhile, the “Sex Trade Survivors Justice and Equality Act” proposes asymmetrical criminalization, eliminating penalties for some sex work related offenses, while levying fines against customers, roommates, drivers, and others. Both bills would continue to criminalize sex trafficking, exploitation, and coercion.
Our expert panel will discuss the movement behind decriminalization in New York, pending legislation, as well as arguments in support of and opposed to different models of criminalization.
Program co-sponsors: NYCLA Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues and NYCLA’s Criminal Justice Section
Moderator: Jason M. Moff, Special Counsel, Kramer Levin Neftalis & Frankel LLP, Co-Chair, NYCLA’s Committee on LGBT Issues
Faculty: Melissa Sontag Broudo, Esq., Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, SOAR Institute; Aisha Lewis-McCoy, Exploitation Intervention Project Attorney, Legal Aid Society; Jared Trujillo, Esq., Policy Counsel, NYCLU;