Manhattan DA Ends Prosecution of Prostitution

According to reports, the Manhattan, NY District Attorney has ended the prosecution of prostitution, getting one step

closer to full decriminalization.

“Over the last decade we’ve learned from those with lived experience, and from our own experience on the ground: criminally prosecuting prostitution does not make us safer, and too often, achieves the opposite result by further marginalizing vulnerable New Yorkers,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.

“By vacating warrants, dismissing cases, and erasing convictions for these charges, we are completing a paradigm shift in our approach. These cases — many dating back to the 1970s and 1980s — are both a relic of a different New York, and a very real burden for the person who carries the conviction or bench warrant,” he continued.

To be clear, while this ends prosecution of prostitution, Vance noted that the new policy “does not preclude us from bringing other charges that may stem from a prostitution-related arrest.”

This move comes on the heels of Kings County making a similar decision months ago. “Vacating these warrants and dismissing these cases is consistent with my view that those who engage in these activities need to be offered assistance, not criminally prosecuted,” said Kings County  DA Eric Gonzalez. “I am also calling on Albany to repeal the law that prohibits what is known as loitering for purposes of prostitution, because of the vagueness of the law, the stark racial inequalities in its enforcement, and the disproportionate harm that enforcement of the law has caused to vulnerable trans women in our community.”


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