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Regulating the Sexual City: Compulsory Rehabilitation Orders & Kerb Crawler Rehabilitation Programmes Dr Teela Sanders Anti Social.

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Presentation on theme: "Regulating the Sexual City: Compulsory Rehabilitation Orders & Kerb Crawler Rehabilitation Programmes Dr Teela Sanders Anti Social."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regulating the Sexual City: Compulsory Rehabilitation Orders & Kerb Crawler Rehabilitation Programmes Dr Teela Sanders Anti Social Behaviour, Urban Spaces and the Night time Economy University of Leeds 17 th April 2008 17 th April 2008

2 Drawing on sociological studies

3 Overview of Paper ► 2004 – now: Recent policy context ► Discourses and narratives about sex workers in need of ‘rehabilitation’ ► Compulsory Rehabilitation Orders ► Practical implications of ‘exiting’ ► New focus on the ‘kerbcrawler’ as the problem ► Policing sexuality in the city ► ‘Regulatory therapy’: Support through surveillance, exclusion and control

4 Recent Policy Developments ► Being Outside: constructing a response to street prostitution (Scottish Executive,2004) ► Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland)Act 2007 ► Paying the Price (Home Office, 2004) ► Co-ordinated Prostitution Strategy (Home Office, 2006) ► New ‘Tackling Demand’ Review (July 2008) ► Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill (2008):  Section 71: Removal of “common prostitute”  Section 72: Orders to promote rehabilitation  Compulsory Rehabilitation Orders

5 Sex Workers as Victim Narratives ► Prostitution defined as only sexual exploitation and as public nuisance ► Focus on the street ► Exiting as the only policy option: not making it safer for women ► Remove opportunity for prostitution to take place ► Priority is eradication ► Recognises not homogenous group but then goes on to say common characteristics are…. ► Abuse ► Difficult lives ► Homelessness ► Problematic drug abuse ► No agency

6 Coordinated Prostitution Strategy 2006 ► Rejected managed zones – condoning ► Rejected licensed brothel system ► Eradication of street prostitution through… ► ‘Exiting’ and/or criminalisation of sex workers - ASBOs ► ‘Tackling Demand’ ► Trafficking and sexual exploitation ► Move from victim to offender ► Move from fines to ASBOs / imprisonment ► Increase in sex workers sent to prison

7 Compulsory Rehabilitation Orders 2008 ► The court may make an order for a person convicted of loitering or soliciting (for purpose of prostitution) requiring them to attend three meetings with a specified “supervisor” ► The purpose of the order is to promote the “offender’s” rehabilitation ► Failure to attend any sessions can result in a further summons and a possible 72 hours’ imprisonment

8 Practical Policy Implications ► CROs ignore the essential need for voluntary engagement in change not forced change ► ASBOs and criminal justice route can displace activity, cause women to work less safely and increase risk of violence ► Sends women to prison & criminal record, denying access to more services ► Drives women away from services rather than making them more accessible ► Moving towards zero tolerance with no legal indoor provision ► Potentially opens the way for moral judgements, vigilantism and increased exploitation in underworld

9 Ideological Impact ► Sex workers as criminals not as rightful citizens ► Ipswich murders had no impact on policy in terms of safety or providing spaces for women who work on the streets ► Discourse of Disposability (Lowman, 2001) ► Violence on the street ► Stigmatisation of the most marginal women ► No recognition of voluntary sex work or long and complex processes of leaving


11 ‘Tipplezones’ in Holland

12 Redefining who is the ‘problem’ ► 1980’s + men who buy sex problematised ► Increase in laws against ‘the kerbcrawler’ ► 1985 Sexual Offences Act - shift in who was the problem ► 2001 Criminal Justice & Police Act - kerbcrawling an arrestable offence ► 2003 Criminal Justice Act - conditional cautioning ► Peak between 2000-4: 993 men arrested (2002)

13 The Punter, The Kerb Crawler, The ‘User’, The Offender ► ‘Problem of sex’ = ‘Problem of men’ – men defined as ‘abusers’, users’, ‘danger’, spreaders of disease’ ► Complex socio- economic reasons for sex industry not addressed ► Individual groups of men and women involved in sex industry blamed for deterioration of ‘moral fabric’. ► Men who visit brothels / escorts – exempt ► Lap dancing not considered sexual consumption

14 Coordinated Prostitution Strategy: Tackling Demand ► Enforcement of existing laws for kerbcrawling ► Addressing concerns from communities ► Informal warning / court diversion / prosecution ► Crackdowns, zero tolerance decoys, supporting naming and shaming, media coverage, driving licenses revoked, fines, rehabilitation programmes ► High profile naming and shaming – Aberdeen / Leeds: impact on families?? ► 2008 – another review of ‘tackling demand’ with view to criminalising men who buy

15 Deterrence Campaigns ► Imagery and discourses in national and local official campaigns is one of vile hatred for men who buy sexual services ► Radio adverts, beer mats and posters in newspaper – warnings of how middle class respectability can be ruined by a small misdemeanour……..



18 ‘Kerb Crawler Rehabilitation Programmes’ ► Arrest = Choice of ‘rehab’ or court ► Supported by government based on low re- offending rates ► Strategy ignored evaluations: re-arrest not a good measurement due to displacement ► No evidence that programmes in North America have lasted more than 2 years ► Range of reasons for ineffectiveness: displacement; addictions; negative view of commercial sex; not balanced; moral message about buying sex as wrong

19 ‘Regulatory Therapy’ & New Labour ► Harrison and Sanders, 2006 : Understand social regulation that is grounded in structure and agency ► Labelling behaviours ‘anti social’ and ‘vulnerable’ justifies further exclusion, incarceration, inequalities ► Welfare support alongside disciplinary mechanisms ► Responsibilization (Scoular & O’Neill, 2007) and ‘the conditionality of welfare’ (Dwyer, 1998) – support with deterrence, containment and discipline ► Gendered surveillance and control – CROs coercion to ‘change’ and ‘exit’ a lifestyle to become ‘better’ ► Constraining and conditioning of female sexuality – net widening since 1997

20 ‘Men’ as the problem ► Aim to re-educate men….. ► Certain forms of male sexuality problematised ► Certain types of sexual consumption as anti social – other forms of commercial sex (lap dancing) facilitated in the city ► ‘Respectability’ and correct sexual behaviour at the centre of policy ► Scourfield & Drakeford (2002) – CJS to police and control behaviours of men ► Difference symbolises deviance, which equates to criminality and a threat of social and community cohesion

21 Solutions ► Wider discussions on the place of sexual consumption in late capitalism ► Disentangle trafficking issues from the general sex industry ► Understanding of the supply and demand dynamics of the market – women entering into the sex industry ► Move away from ideas of ‘eradication’ – WHO BELIEVES THIS IS POSSIBLE ? ► More pragmatic solutions that prioritise safety – zones / licensing ► Court diversion schemes – stop revolving door of fine and arrest ► Not use CJS to deal with social issues ► Recognition of voluntary sex work and adult consent in commercial sex

22 References ► Scoular, J and O’Neill, M (2007) ‘Regulating prostitution: social inclusion, responsibilization and the politics of prostitution reform’. British Journal of Criminology, 47 (5) 764-778 ► Harrison, M and Sanders, T (2006) Vulnerable People and the Development of 'Regulatory Therapy'. Supporting Safe Communities: Housing, Crime and Communities. T. Newburn, A. Dearling and P. Somerville (eds) London, Chartered Institute of Housing: 155-168. ► Dwyer, P. (1998) ‘Conditional citizens ? Welfare rights and responsibilities in the late 1990s’, Critical Social Policy, 18, 4: 57, pp. 493-517.

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