Chicago Releases Three Year Prostitution Study
The Chicago Intersystem Assessment Work Group released a three year study on prostitution today at a forum for government, non-profit, law enforcement and social service organizations held at Chase Bank Tower, 21 South Clark Street.
The Chicago Intersystem Assessment Work Group, a multidisciplinary work group chaired by the City of Chicago Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence, studied and documented the city's current response to prostitution across systems.
"The group started from the premise that prostitution is not a victimless crime, and I agree wholeheartedly," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "It's a terrible life, and a caring society has a responsibility to help these women turn their lives around, and to keep other young women from entering prostitution."
The Intersystem Assessment on Prostitution in Chicago report identifies gaps in current response strategies and makes strategic recommendations for improvements across three priority areas including the need to:
- Cut into the demand side of the sex trade industry;
- Enhance supportive services and options for those individuals who are involved in the sex trade; and
- Enhance awareness training and accountability for systems involved in responding to the sex trade industry
Chicago is the first jurisdiction in the country that has put together an assessment of prostitution by a group as wide-ranging as the Chicago Intersystem Assessment Work Group.
"We were advantaged both by local research on this issue and a willingness among those working within the criminal justice system as well as in the social service area to come together and collectively examine how we might better respond to this community concern," said Leslie Landis, director of the Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence. "The findings indicate a real intersection between prostitution and violence against women. Like battered women in the past these women are often the ignored or misunderstood victims of gender based violence."
The Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence and the Intersystem Assessment Work Group with overseeing the implementation of the recommendations found in their study.
The group will continue meeting and will coordinate with government departments, social service providers and survivors of prostitution to implement the recommendations in a thoughtful, strategic, and collaborative way.
Chicago Intersystem Assessment Work Group, informed by survivors of prostitution, includes representatives from the:
- Chicago Police Dept.
- Cook County Sheriff's Dept. of Women's Justice Services
- Cook County State's Attorney's Office
- Chicago Dept. of Law
- Chicago Coalition for the Homeless/Prostitution Alternatives Round Table (PART)
- Stroger Hospital
- Cermak Health Services
- Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services
- Chicago Office of Emergency Management & Communications
- DePaul University College of Law
- Heartland Alliance
- Young Women's Empowerment Project
- Chicago Abused Women Coalition's Hospital Crisis Intervention Project
- Rape Victim Advocates
For more information on the Intersystem Assessment on Prostitution in Chicago report, please contact Emily Muskovitz Sweet at 312.747.9990.
The following reports are available in Adobe form: