The Consequences of Arbitrary and Selective Enforcement of Prostitution Laws

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Abstract

In policing criminal activity, law enforcement agents cannot simply choose which rapist, thief or murderer to search for and apprehend, as it is their duty to arrest, prosecute and punish every individual who commits such crimes. Yet this is not the case with policing sex work, as anti-prostitution laws are often arbitrarily enforced and police are frequently given opportunities for intimacy by choosing which perpetrators they will arrest. Drawing upon multiple case studies regarding police abuse of authority as well as my own experiences as a former LAPD traffic officer and sex worker, this paper demonstrates the consequences of such arbitrary enforcement.

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Authors

  • Norma Jean Almodovar

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