National ACLU has issued report calling for the decriminalization of prostitution


PROVIDENCE — A revived national campaign to decriminalize prostitution looks back at the 30 years when sex work was “technically legal” in Rhode Island and concludes: working conditions for sex workers were safer then.

Drawing on earlier studies by Brown University researchers, the National Bureau of Economic Research and others, the new report by the national arm of the ACLU says:

— “During the period of inadvertent decriminalization of ‘indoor prostitution’ in Rhode Island from 1980 through 2009, there was a 30 percent decrease in reported rape offenses against sex workers.” 

— “Incidences of gonorrhea decreased by over 40 percent, particularly among female sex workers.”

— “Unsurprisingly, arrests, which themselves can involve extreme violence and lead to the violence of imprisonment, decreased significantly after sex work was decriminalized in New Zealand and Rhode Island.”


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