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Archive for the ‘prostitutes’ tag

New Program Treats Prostitutes as Victims Instead of Criminals

June 17th, 2015 at 7:41 am

Illinois sex crimes lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,Prostitution is a crime that has been handled and mishandled many ways by society over the years. During some eras it has been ignored, in other eras it has been harshly prosecuted, and in some parts of the country it has even been legalized. It is still against the law in Illinois and the people engaging in prostitution often find themselves in need of the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Now, however, Cook County has created a new program that will treat the people engaged in prostitution, who are all too often not prostitutes of their own volition, as the victims they are, rather than treating them as criminals.

A New Cook County Program

The Chicago Tribune reports that a new court will change the way prostitution charges are handled in Cook County. This program was in part made possible by a 2013 change in the state prostitution law that required that all prostitution cases be charged as misdemeanors rather than felonies. The court will be called the “Chicago Prostitution and Trafficking Intervention Court.” Its goals are to give people working in prostitution the tools they need to leave that life while at the same time reducing the overcrowding of local jails.

Program Acknowledges Realities of Prostitution

While some people, both men and women, consciously choose to work in prostitution despite having other readily accessible options in their lives, that is simply not the case for many sex workers. Some are the victims of human traffickers, while others are trapped by issues involving substance abuse, homelessness, and/or mental health problems. These women and men often find themselves forced into sex work just to survive. This new program is designed to help solve these underlying problems rather than just punishing people for doing what they have to do in order to get by. One of the key elements of the program is that the defendants who are a part of it will actually be able to get their charges dismissed if they successfully complete the program. It remains to be seen, however, how realistic completion of the program will be. Drug courts have shown that when they are properly implemented they can be an excellent tool for rehabilitation, but when they are not run properly they can just be a way of setting defendants up to fail. Hopefully this court will be more like the former than the latter.

What Will the Program Include?

The men and women who engage in this program will have individual case managers. They will have access to HIV testing, and, if necessary, treatment. They will receive counseling. Depending on the participant’s individual needs they may also work with organizations that fight homelessness, that deal with human trafficking issues, and that provide mental health services.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are charged with prostitution, or any other crime, you will need the help of an experienced and passionate criminal defense lawyer. For help from a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, you should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. When you call us at (847)394-3200 we will schedule an appointment at your convenience.

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