Stopping crime by making it illegal


I was drawn to this 11 Alive online story by the appalling headline “Transvestite prostitutes becoming more violent in Midtown.” For Pete’s and Patricia’s sake, the headline isn’t just offensive because it uses a term many consider an epithet. It’s also constructed in a way that a) implies transgendered prostitutes are an organized unit perpetrating violence b) assumes the people allegedly involved in a particular alleged attack were, in fact, prostitutes and c) conjures a delicious mental image of a planning meeting where a group of men dressed as women plan a raid on Mary Mac’s.

But the reason I’m writing this blog isn’t the headline, but the news it reports. To help Midtown reduce chronic street-level prostitution, Atlanta City Council is reportedly considering a new law that would make it illegal for a prostitute to stand on a street where she/he was previously arrested. Prostitution is already illegal. If that isn’t a deterrant (and clearly for some it is not) then how will making it illegal to stand somewhere help?