Prostitution and Denver’s criminal justice system: who pays?
Prostitution and Denver’s Criminal Justice System: Who Pays? is a study that examined the enforcement of current prostitution laws in the City and County of Denver. The study, made possible with the generous support of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, was conducted in partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT), for the purpose of obtaining a knowledge base of prostitution-related offenses.
The goal of the study was to highlight potential points of intersection between prostitution and sex trafficking, in addition to the role of the criminal justice system in investigating and prosecuting buyers of commercial sex.
Who Pays? helps provide baseline context that surrounds prostitution enforcement, and will help inform actions to support victims and survivors of human trafficking. When it comes to the question of Who Pays?, clearly it is the vulnerable, those susceptible to harm. As the inquiries into the crime of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation evolve, so too must our conversations around our communities’ responses to prostitution.
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In summary, the description of johns as employed married men with regular lives who just want to have sex—which very well may be true—appeared to frame them as being less criminal than prostitutes.