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The stretch of 47th Street that runs between Cicero and Ashland avenues is known as a major corridor for prostitution. Photo by Lucio Villa.

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A pimp had brought her from her hometown in Muskegan, Mich. In the six years since her first arrest, she has been charged with prostitution 37 times across four states. Gaultney has wispy brown hair and a soft voice, and lets out a small, self-conscious laugh when she mentions particularly unfunny things, like the abuse she said she suffered at the hands of police and pimps. She now writes frequent letters to her three sons, who were 3, 4 and 14 years old when she lost custody. Since completing her time at Haymarket in August, Gaultney has been on the job hunt.

Before ending up in prostitution, she worked in food service and manufacturing, and received both her GED diploma and a certificate in welding.

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And she just went through a two-week job-seeking re-entry program at Roosevelt University. But, with her rap sheet that includes two felony convictions for prostitution, she is facing prostitutes numbers in cicero uphill battle in finding steady work off the streets.

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Under the law, any repeat prostitution misdemeanor is eligible to be upgraded to a felony—one of two states allowing such upgrade after a single charge. During the past four years, they made up 97 percent of the 1, prostitution-related felony convictions in Cook County.

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And the is growing: Felony convictions among sex workers increased by 68 percent between and Along with working on several pieces of sex trafficking and prostitution legislation, Mueller helped plan the Women In Need of Gender-specific Services felony prostitution court—known as WINGS court—that was established by the Circuit Court of Cook County to connect women trying to leave the sex trade with needed resources.

For the people convicted of prostitution felonies during the first four months of this year, the upgrade that happens almost automatically prostitutes numbers in cicero leaving the sex trade even more difficult, Mueller said. Sending them to jail is not the answer. If the attorney does not off on the upgrade, the police department can request to override the decision.

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Marissa Claxon, criminal defense attorney with Cabrini-Green Legal Aid, said that kind of upgrade is fairly rare in criminal law. According to the assessment, the district commander and a supervisor in the vice-control unit reviewed all prostitution arrest reports to ensure all eligible offenders are charged with felonies.

As a result, the of women convicted of prostitution-related felonies increased by about 45 percent from to Overall, the report exposed an imbalanced system that came down hard on people in prostitution but rarely held their patrons able. InGoswami created the End Demand Illinois campaign in an effort to shift the focus of prostitution law enforcement from those selling sex to those buying.

Along with shielding minors in the sex trade from prosecution, the law increased first-time patronizing charges to a felony. But, under current state law, an offender must be caught in the act or in transaction to be charged with a patronizing felony. Even on repeat charges, attempting to pick up someone for prostitution remains a misdemeanor.

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Gaultney said such a broad definition makes it easy for officers to arrest people they know have a history. Local law enforcement agencies have been vocal about their support for End Demand efforts.

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InCook County adopted the Public Morals Nuisance Violation Ordinance, which ificantly increased fines for patronizing charges. The Chicago police has also launched programs to deter potential patrons.

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Inin a controversial effort to shame offenders, the department began posting the mug shots and other information about arrested johns online. Criminal defense attorney Chris M. Shepherd said this might explain some of the discrepancy in prostitution felonies.

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Chicago Municipal Codeunder which Chicago prostitutes numbers in cicero are charging most johns, does not outline increased consequences for repeat offenders. Some of the money collected will finance support services for people trying to leave the sex trade.

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Human trafficking legislation approved by the Illinois General Assembly in August dictates that half of collected fines will go toward programs for sex trafficking victims. But some advocates question whether a steep fine or a rap sheet is more likely to keep patrons away. Chicago police reports show men are even less likely to be arrested now than they were in Men ed for 34 percent of prostitution-related arrests ina decrease of nearly 7 percentage points since Rachael Morgan said she never saw a john arrested during the eight years she spent in prostitution.

As of April37 people had been convicted on felony promotion charges. But critics say that such rescue rhetoric means little without lessening the punishment for those arrested on prostitution charges.

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Semi J. Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, also questioned how much the patron-focused approach helps. Lovell said increased penalties for johns could have unintended consequences for those in the sex trade. Many of these were transgender women, implying those in the sex trade may still be facing incorrect charges, Lovell said.

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It just increases felony charges across the board. Regardless of the approach, advocates on both sides contend that a felony record only makes it harder for people wanting to leave prostitution. Such low levels of support mean high rates of recidivism for people in prostitution.

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According to a study of women in Cook County Jail by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 42 percent of women incarcerated for prostitution had been in jail more than six times. Recent legislation and programming aims to increase alternative sentencing options and social services for people in prostitution.

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The Prostitution Alternatives Round Table, a project of the Chicago Coalition of the Homeless, helped enact a first-offender probation law in that provides rehab services for first-time felons. The coalition also organizes a group called the Survivors Advocacy Group Empowered, composed of women like Gaultney who have left the sex trade to advocate for more just prostitution legislation.

When asked what is most needed to aid those in prostitution, Gaultney was quick to answer. Chicago Reporter. Coronavirus en Illinois: mapa actualizado diariamente. Comments are closed.

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