K, San Francisco, November 2008:
ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS RELATED TO PROSTITUTION AND
to Prop K Information Page
Ballot Pamphlet Summary- San Francisco 2008
"Enforcement of Laws Related to Prostitution and Sex Workers"
THE WAY IT IS NOW:
State and local laws prohibit prostitution. State and federal laws
prohibit human trafficking for prostitution or forced labor. Criminal
laws also prohibit crimes such as battery, extortion and
rape, regardless of the victim's status as a prostitute or sex worker.
In 1994, the Board of Supervisors established a Task Force on Prostitution
(Task Force) to examine prostitution in the City and to recommend
social and legal reforms. In 1996 the Task Force released a report
• City departments stop enforcing and prosecuting prostitution
• City departments instead focus on neighborhood complaints
about quality of life infractions;
• The City redirect funds from prosecution and incarceration
to providing services and alternatives for those involved in prostitution.
To date, the City has implemented some of the Task Force's recommendations.
In 2003, the City adopted an ordinance transferring the licensing
and regulation of massage parlors from the Police Department to the
Department of Public Health (DPH). In 2006, DPH adopted another recommendation
by establishing an anonymous telephone message line for sex workers
to voice concerns about their working conditions.
The District Attorney's office, in cooperation with the Police Department
and a local non-profit organization, manages the First Offender Prostitution
Program. This is a diversion program with separate programs for prostitutes
and clients who have been arrested. It is partially funded by fees
from clients who have been arrested.
Proposition K would prohibit the Police Department from providing
resources to investigate and prosecute prostitution. It would also
prohibit the Police Department from applying for federal or state
funds that involve racial profiling to target alleged trafficking
victims and would require any existing funds to implement the Task
Proposition K would require the Police Department and the District
Attorney to enforce existing criminal laws that prohibit coercion,
extortion, battery, rape, sexual assault and other violent crimes,
regardless of the victim's status as a sex worker. It also requires
these agencies to fully disclose the investigation and prosecution
of violent crimes against sex workers.
Proposition K would prohibit the City from funding or supporting the
First Offender Prostitution Program or any similar anti-prostitution
The Board of Supervisors would be able to amend this measure by a
two-thirds vote if it found the amendments would reduce criminalization
of prostitution and violence against sex workers.
A “YES” VOTE MEANS: If you vote "yes," you want
the City to:
• stop enforcing laws against prostitution,
• stop funding or supporting the First Offender Prostitution
Program or any similar anti- prostitution program,
• enforce existing criminal laws that prohibit crimes such as
battery, extortion and rape,
regardless of the victim's status as a sex worker, and
• fully disclose the investigation and prosecution of violent
crimes against sex workers.
A “NO” VOTE MEANS: If you vote “no,” you do
not want to make these changes.